Help to Define Whether Memory Problems are Serious
People of all ages have “tip of the tongue” moments when the word they want is right there, but they just cannot pull it out of their memory. You think and think of the word, but only similar words come to mind. For example, you want “reconcile,” as in “reconcile the accounts,” but all you can think of is “recycle,” as in “reduce, reuse and recycle.” Such frustrating moments tend to increase as we age, and many people are concerned that these slip-ups are a sign of something worse than just declining recall. Therefore, in this article we discuss the ordinary types of memory loss that tend to accompany natural aging and the types of memory issues that indicate something more serious.
Ordinary Memory Issues
Ordinary memory loss that comes with aging is annoying, but seldom serious. You forget where you put your car keys, take longer to learn a new skill, or forget about an appointment or paying a bill. You even have more trouble recalling a word or the name of a certain celebrity. These problems are examples of mild forgetfulness and the consequences are not grave. Even forgetting what day it is and having to look it up is something that young people in school do all the time!
Signs of MCI
Mild Cognitive Impairment, or MCI, is a more serious issue. It is potentially an early warning sign of progressive diseases, like dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, but for some clients the problem never advances beyond MCI. Signs of MCI include:
- Forgetting important events
- Regularly missing significant appointments
- Asking the same question repeatedly, even after receiving an answer
- Having trouble following printed directions or recipes
- Forgetfulness in your self-care routines
- Repeatedly making poor decisions
- Getting lost in areas you used to know well
Changes in personality can also accompany MCI, such as depression, anxiety, anger, or lethargy. These changes go beyond annoying. This type of decline is bad for a person’s health and potentially life-threatening. If you notice such problems, your first step should be having a frank discussion with your friends and family about their observations and then writing these things down. Next, arrange an appointment with your doctor for a diagnosis.
Neurofeedback for Memory Issues
In a future article we will discuss how neurofeedback can assist people with memory issues. For ordinary memory decline that accompanies aging, neurofeedback can demonstrably improve alertness and word recall. For MCI, dementia, and even Alzheimer’s disease, studies demonstrate that neurofeedback can help with certain symptoms of these conditions. We will discuss the findings of these studies later.
The Brain Health Clinic of Sacramento is here to help you make life brilliant! A good memory is a blessing, but it is also an aspect of brain health that can be nurtured and improved. For more information about what is possible, and what is not, as a result of neurofeedback, contact us for a free and private consultation to discuss your situation.