Dr. Gary Small, M.D., is a professor of psychiatry and aging and director of the UCLA Longevity Center at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior. Dr. Small, one the nations top brain health experts, frequently appears on The Today Show, Good Morning America, and The Dr. Oz Show. He is co-author with his wife Gigi Vorgan of many popular books, including The New York Times best-seller, The Memory Bible, and The Alzheimer’s Prevention Program. He is author of The Mind Health Report newsletter.

Dr. Gary Small, M.D.

Memory Loss: When Is It Time to See a Doctor?

Monday, 21 Oct 2013 03:02 PM

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Many people worry about their age-related memory “slips” because they have seen severe memory problems in friends and relatives with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. 
 
These conditions involve memory loss, along with impairment of other mental or cognitive abilities. 
 
People with dementia may also lose their ability to reason, become confused about the time and date and where they are, may have trouble reading maps and often get lost, and experience personality and mood changes. For the doctor to diagnose dementia, these cognitive problems must impair patients’ abilities to care for themselves. 
 
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia, but small strokes in the brain, medication side effects, or even depression can impair cognitive abilities enough to create a dementia syndrome. 

Whenever someone feels that a loss of cognitive abilities is beginning to interfere with daily life, it is important to seek medical advice. 
 
Because Alzheimer’s disease has such a gradual onset, its early stages often mimic the normal memory changes that everyone experiences.
 
Several studies suggest that the sooner people are diagnosed and begin treatment for Alzheimer’s, the better the patient’s expected outcome. So when in doubt, see your doctor. 
 
To read Dr. Gary Small's Mind Health Report, CLICK HERE.

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