Aging & Health: Take Charge

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PUBLIC PAGE
Sep 30 3:22pm

Talking to you doctor about memory loss

By Joey Keillor, @joeykeillor

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Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is often the first step in the decline from normal cognitive function to forms of dementia, including Alzheimer's disease. The primary symptom is memory loss that’s noticeable to you and those around you — for example, difficulties remembering doctor appointments or recent conversations — but it’s not enough to hinder your daily activities or prevent you from being independent.

However, if you find yourself reluctant to talk to your doctor about memory loss, realize that many people who have MCI don’t develop dementia, and the condition will remain stable or even improve. Knowing this can be reassuring. In addition, memory loss that may seem to be MCI is sometimes caused by treatable conditions such as:

  • Side effects from certain medications, such as opioids, antihistamines, antidepressants and urinary incontinence drugs
  • Physical inactivity
  • Social isolation
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Depression
  • Thyroid disease (hypothyroidism)
  • Vitamin B-12 deficiency
  • High or low blood sugar
  • Dehydration and constipation
  • Vision or hearing loss
  • Sleep disturbances such as obstructive sleep apnea or insomnia
  • Accumulation of fluid in the brain (normal-pressure hydrocephalus)
  • Infections, including HIV, syphilis, urinary tract infections and infections involving the brain

Join one of the many informative and supportive conversations in our Caregivers: Dementia group.

 

For more guidance and advice on MCI, visit the Living with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) page

This information was very helpful and reassuring to those of us who have had some memory loss. As an octogenarian I become very anxious when I sometimes cannot remember a name.

COMMENT

I have MCI myself. I had a doctor's assistant ask me this question: How many animals can you name in one minute. Can you believe I only named three animals! I named the ones I had actually had in my home: dog, cat, monkey. Then I had a blank. I have only been to the zoo twice in my life and have been pretty much a stay at home person. Not many animals except on TV in my life.

COMMENT
@woogie

I have MCI myself. I had a doctor's assistant ask me this question: How many animals can you name in one minute. Can you believe I only named three animals! I named the ones I had actually had in my home: dog, cat, monkey. Then I had a blank. I have only been to the zoo twice in my life and have been pretty much a stay at home person. Not many animals except on TV in my life.

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@woogie Bless you I tried the test and did a little better so guess I'm o.k. but I can't remember names and what I had for lunch so keep playing games ,search a word books that helps I do every day almost I like the word games on internet.

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