Diagnosis of Memory Disorders
Is it normal aging or early Alzheimer’s disease?
A careful neuropsychological assessment is the gold standard for telling the difference between normal, age associated memory changes and the earliest signs of Alzheimer’s. The two conditions may look very similar because both involve subtle changes to the temporal lobes of the brain. Knowing if Alzheimer’s disease is present makes a big difference as medications that slow the progression of symptoms can be started early, and families can plan ahead for care giving needs. There are also many neurological and physiological conditions that cause dementia and knowing which is present gives patients and families a clear prognosis and treatment plan.
Most importantly, many worried people discover that their memory is perfectly normal for their age group. When this is the case, people can learn simple techniques to boost their everyday memory capacity.
Here is a wonderful website designed for caregivers of those with Alzheimer's disease: http://www.thiscaringhome.org/
Alzheimer’s Association: www.alz.org