Rather worrying memory/processing symptoms at 23 years of age

Posted by maryb1996 @maryb1996, Mon, Jan 28 1:38pm

I have sudden memory and attention problems getting worse, I have no disabilities nor depression. I am perfectly healthy and have no relevant or noticeable physical symptoms. Recently, I experience (what can somewhat be called) agnosia and my vision has been tricking me although I have 20/20 vision: things that were there suddenly appear in my vision and I may mistake words for completely different words even after repeated reading, and I may wrongly identify an object I see and my vision of it shifts into what the object really is as if my switching is shifting from angle to another in the Necker cube illusion. For example, I may put two pieces of clothing next to one another to try to see if the colors go well together, but it would take me long to decide because I cannot process the information I see and have to pay extra attention “focusing.” I kept reading the word “Verified” as “Verifida” although it was in a perfectly clear font and contrast, and only a while later did I SEE it was in fact “verified,” even though I did re-read many times. I mistook frozen blackberries in a Tupperware for beaded bracelets (???), but once again my vision “shifted” and I could see they were blackberries. Sometimes, it takes me long to “see” (more like process the presence of) objects that were right there in front of me. The nearest appointment at a (affordable) specialist is not any time soon.

@maryb1996 Is there another general doctor you can see? My question is if your brain is not processing the signals from your eyes correctly, and why. Are you having headaches? Did you have an injury like a concussion, or deprivation of oxygen? Can you see a neurologist for testing? You might ask for some brain imaging. If this is getting worse, it could be an early warning for something like a stroke or a tumor. If you feel like things are changing, you might want to be seen at an emergency room. I'm not trying to scare you, but if you are worried, don't just politely wait to be seen at a future appointment.

@jenniferhunter

@maryb1996 Is there another general doctor you can see? My question is if your brain is not processing the signals from your eyes correctly, and why. Are you having headaches? Did you have an injury like a concussion, or deprivation of oxygen? Can you see a neurologist for testing? You might ask for some brain imaging. If this is getting worse, it could be an early warning for something like a stroke or a tumor. If you feel like things are changing, you might want to be seen at an emergency room. I'm not trying to scare you, but if you are worried, don't just politely wait to be seen at a future appointment.

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Thank you very much for your answer, and the time you took writing it. I should definitely care for such early signs, and not prioritize politeness. I will try seeing a neurologist and if it does not work out urgently I will go to a general doctor. To answer you: I did not have any injuries. For around a week I had mild headaches that happened soon after eating but they disappeared now. Thanks again!

@maryb1996

Thank you very much for your answer, and the time you took writing it. I should definitely care for such early signs, and not prioritize politeness. I will try seeing a neurologist and if it does not work out urgently I will go to a general doctor. To answer you: I did not have any injuries. For around a week I had mild headaches that happened soon after eating but they disappeared now. Thanks again!

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@maryb1996 In your description about the cube illusion, and your eyes shifting, I had another thought. Usually we have a dominant eye that does most of our focusing for close work. The brain puts the images together from both eyes for depth perception. What you might be describing is the dominance shifting between your eyes as you look at something. You can cover each eye by itself to figure out which eye is doing the seeing. My eyes don't converge well at close distances, and if I check this, the image from each of my eyes are a distance apart. Sometimes my brain just picks one, and that image can shift back and forth spontaneously, but when I concentrate, my brain ignores one of the images, but I am seeing and comprehending the image correctly. I've always been like this. You could be like this too. You might be having trouble combining images from your eyes. Have you seen an ophthalmologist? It might be a good idea in case there is something in the eye causing the wrong signals to be sent. An ophthalmologist is a medical doctor and an optometrist is not a medical doctor. The ophthalmologist can also write orders for imaging of the brain, and you may get a quicker appointment. The retina has rods and cones that convert the focused image into nerve impulses that are sent through the optic nerves to the brain where the information is processed in the visual cortex. Anything abnormal along that entire pathway can affect vision and processing. The optic nerves are on the underside of the brain and cross over in an "X" to the opposite side of the brain. If there was a mass or tumor putting pressure on the optic nerves, it could also affect the signals that are sent. These would be things that an MRI could show. I'm just thinking outside the box about how this works, so you can ask questions of your providers. I used to work for a neuroanatomist at a university who was mapping the visual system (and studying visual abnormalities) from the retina to the visual cortex.

Hi, @maryb1996. I'd like to add my welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect along with @jenniferhunter, who has offered lots of useful input. I'd also like you to meet @johnbishop @IndianaScott @mamacita @justint95 @kyoto, who may have some thoughts on the memory and processing problems you are experiencing as a 23-year-old.

Sounds like you are now trying to figure out a way to be seen sooner than the options you were given previously. Are you having any luck trying to get in earlier to see a neurologist or a GP?

@jenniferhunter

@maryb1996 In your description about the cube illusion, and your eyes shifting, I had another thought. Usually we have a dominant eye that does most of our focusing for close work. The brain puts the images together from both eyes for depth perception. What you might be describing is the dominance shifting between your eyes as you look at something. You can cover each eye by itself to figure out which eye is doing the seeing. My eyes don't converge well at close distances, and if I check this, the image from each of my eyes are a distance apart. Sometimes my brain just picks one, and that image can shift back and forth spontaneously, but when I concentrate, my brain ignores one of the images, but I am seeing and comprehending the image correctly. I've always been like this. You could be like this too. You might be having trouble combining images from your eyes. Have you seen an ophthalmologist? It might be a good idea in case there is something in the eye causing the wrong signals to be sent. An ophthalmologist is a medical doctor and an optometrist is not a medical doctor. The ophthalmologist can also write orders for imaging of the brain, and you may get a quicker appointment. The retina has rods and cones that convert the focused image into nerve impulses that are sent through the optic nerves to the brain where the information is processed in the visual cortex. Anything abnormal along that entire pathway can affect vision and processing. The optic nerves are on the underside of the brain and cross over in an "X" to the opposite side of the brain. If there was a mass or tumor putting pressure on the optic nerves, it could also affect the signals that are sent. These would be things that an MRI could show. I'm just thinking outside the box about how this works, so you can ask questions of your providers. I used to work for a neuroanatomist at a university who was mapping the visual system (and studying visual abnormalities) from the retina to the visual cortex.

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Amazing insight! again, thank you very much for all the time and effort you are putting in order to provide me with potential answers. I am familiar with most of the things you just said (I am a psychology graduate, currently working under neuropsychologists). It happens that I saw an ophthalmologist frequently in the past period because I had PRK corrective eye surgery. I highly doubt it has anything to do with this, especially since my problems started occurring before the surgery? I am however not sure about your explanation concerning combining the images from the two eyes for stereovision: it makes complete sense but some of the "shifts" I am experiencing are shifts between objects that usually look nothing alike, and that would not explain other symptoms. There is one symptom I completely forgot to mention: I suddenly have problems with speech that do not occur as often. While speaking ordinarily (not under any sort of pressure or stress), I may confuse syllables while speaking, result being I say slurred and meaningless words. While I actively focus on trying to correct my words after having mixed up the syllables the first time, the words still come out wrong, with another completely meaningless combination or order of syllables. I however neglected/forgot about mentioning this in my previous post because it happens less often, yet it is also becoming slowly more frequent. Again, I really appreciate your time, efforts and thoughts 🙂

@lisalucier

Hi, @maryb1996. I'd like to add my welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect along with @jenniferhunter, who has offered lots of useful input. I'd also like you to meet @johnbishop @IndianaScott @mamacita @justint95 @kyoto, who may have some thoughts on the memory and processing problems you are experiencing as a 23-year-old.

Sounds like you are now trying to figure out a way to be seen sooner than the options you were given previously. Are you having any luck trying to get in earlier to see a neurologist or a GP?

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Hello, and thank you! I am going to see a GP before Friday and consult with him, perhaps he can order tests or scans if necessary, until I can meet up with a neurologist if this is also deemed necessary by the GP. There is one symptom I completely forgot to mention: I suddenly have problems with speech that do not occur as often. While speaking ordinarily (not under any sort of pressure or stress), I may confuse syllables while speaking, result being I say slurred and meaningless words. While I actively focus on trying to correct my words after having mixed up the syllables the first time, the words still come out wrong, with another completely meaningless combination or order of syllables. I however neglected/forgot about mentioning this in my previous post because it happens less often, yet it is also becoming slowly more frequent. Thank you @lisalucier, and thank you in advance @johnbishop @IndianaScott @mamacita @justint95 @kyoto @jenniferhunter

Hi @maryb1996, I would like to add my welcome also. You last post triggered some thoughts and I found an article that may possibly explain what is going on with the problems with speech.

Mixing Up Words When Speaking Anxiety Symptoms
https://www.anxietycentre.com/anxiety-symptoms/mixing-up-words-anxiety.shtml

Hoping you find some answers soon…

@maryb1996

Amazing insight! again, thank you very much for all the time and effort you are putting in order to provide me with potential answers. I am familiar with most of the things you just said (I am a psychology graduate, currently working under neuropsychologists). It happens that I saw an ophthalmologist frequently in the past period because I had PRK corrective eye surgery. I highly doubt it has anything to do with this, especially since my problems started occurring before the surgery? I am however not sure about your explanation concerning combining the images from the two eyes for stereovision: it makes complete sense but some of the "shifts" I am experiencing are shifts between objects that usually look nothing alike, and that would not explain other symptoms. There is one symptom I completely forgot to mention: I suddenly have problems with speech that do not occur as often. While speaking ordinarily (not under any sort of pressure or stress), I may confuse syllables while speaking, result being I say slurred and meaningless words. While I actively focus on trying to correct my words after having mixed up the syllables the first time, the words still come out wrong, with another completely meaningless combination or order of syllables. I however neglected/forgot about mentioning this in my previous post because it happens less often, yet it is also becoming slowly more frequent. Again, I really appreciate your time, efforts and thoughts 🙂

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@maryb1996 – it strikes me that @hopeful33250 may know something about the speech problems you mention here, so I'd like to invite her into this discussion.

Hello,
At the beginning, you wrote that these issues have presented themselves only recently. It must be quite disconcerting. Does this issue vary during the day, or is it constant? You mentioned that apart from this, you have no symptoms, so perhaps you don't get nausea or no headache? Do you ever have difficulty distinguishing colors, or recognizing people's faces that you know? Is your peripheral vision ok? Since you are beginning to notice symptoms in a separate function, your speech, I would say, get it checked out as quickly as possible. If I were you, I would keep a detailed diary of every occurrence, time, place etc. of what you notice. This will help your doctor to assess more readily the pattern of your symptoms.

Welcome @maryb1996, to this wonderful gathering of people under the heading of Mayo Clinic Connect. Everything that has been said makes me nod my head in agreement. We have several things in common, you and I. Your experience with letters and numbers tumbling around is quite familiar to me. Years ago I was told I had some sort of issue with my eyes, where what I saw from each eye was mistranslated to my brain. Each eye a little different. Yellow lenses were suggested as a means to cope with my impairment, whose name I don't remember. I detest the world through yellow tinted lenses. So I just deal with the effects of whatever glitch I have. I might add, I am 67 years old. I majored in Psychology and Sociology in College. Mainly because I was trying to figure out my place in the world. I still find the study of the brain fascinating. I am not a medical practitioner by any means. However, I do believe that the members and volunteers here have brought up some very interesting points. A thorough examination by a competent physician who can order testing in a timely manner. So many conditions mimic each other, it is going to take someone very experienced, preferably someone with a University Teaching Hospital in his pocket. I mean that in the nicest way. If you are fairly close to one of Mayo Clinic's locations, I am confident you will be treated with respect and will be given the highest quality of care. These are all difficult decisions for anyone to make. But you are doing the right thing by researching and investigating as much as you can. I hope that you get some results soon, and let us know how you are doing. Mamacita

@maryb1996

Amazing insight! again, thank you very much for all the time and effort you are putting in order to provide me with potential answers. I am familiar with most of the things you just said (I am a psychology graduate, currently working under neuropsychologists). It happens that I saw an ophthalmologist frequently in the past period because I had PRK corrective eye surgery. I highly doubt it has anything to do with this, especially since my problems started occurring before the surgery? I am however not sure about your explanation concerning combining the images from the two eyes for stereovision: it makes complete sense but some of the "shifts" I am experiencing are shifts between objects that usually look nothing alike, and that would not explain other symptoms. There is one symptom I completely forgot to mention: I suddenly have problems with speech that do not occur as often. While speaking ordinarily (not under any sort of pressure or stress), I may confuse syllables while speaking, result being I say slurred and meaningless words. While I actively focus on trying to correct my words after having mixed up the syllables the first time, the words still come out wrong, with another completely meaningless combination or order of syllables. I however neglected/forgot about mentioning this in my previous post because it happens less often, yet it is also becoming slowly more frequent. Again, I really appreciate your time, efforts and thoughts 🙂

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@maryb1996 I was just explaining what the brain does to process images. It sounds like you're getting crossed signals somehow with different images than what you are looking at. I'm glad you're getting some help soon. Everything is very organized and mapped from the retina to the visual cortex in the brain.

Here's a fun fact about visual mapping in Siamese cats that I learned in my former research job. They are a type of albino because pigment is produced in the colder areas of the body, and they do not have protective pigment in their retinas like other cats have. That is the blue/green reflective color you see from a flash photo. The pigments in the retina contribute to the correct retinal mapping in the developing embryo. A Siamese cat has an abnormal segment of the visual cortex that is backwards and here is how you can test this. Throw something side to side past the Siamese cat, and the first movement of it's head is toward the opposite direction. Then because the cat moved it's head and everything moved past it visually, the cat looks the opposite direction again. This makes them act like bobble heads going back and forth as they look at things and follow motion.

Slurred speech is also a stroke symptom and it can happen if you're not getting enough oxygen to the brain. Then it could be a circulation or blood pressure issue, or a lung breathing problem that could contribute. Are you dyslexic? You probably would know that and this wouldn't be a new problem with language. Does any of this change when you are tired or wide awake? I suggest write down your questions and concerns so you can remember them at your appointment. Let us know what happens. Take care.

I, too, was hoping against hope that the symptoms you mentioned were not that of a stroke, or a "mini stroke" ,"TIA." We are complicated creatures, but with the proper examination and further testing, I know you will get some answers. Prayers and warmest thoughts go out to you during this time.
Mamacita

Liked by Jennifer Hunter

Have you recently had brain surgery? I had all sorts of vision and memory problems right before and right after my brain surgery. Its been 4 months since surgery but I still have odd problems like transposing numbers and sometimes words don't come out quite right.

Liked by mrector

@bjh369

Have you recently had brain surgery? I had all sorts of vision and memory problems right before and right after my brain surgery. Its been 4 months since surgery but I still have odd problems like transposing numbers and sometimes words don't come out quite right.

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@bjh369 It's been 5 months since my brain tumor surgery. I have these same problems that you describe. I don't know if it will get better or is this just the "new different".

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