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How to identify serious memory loss

Local News

Dr. Rashida Mengi of Highland Family Medicine discussed memory loss and how to identify when it’s become a serious problem Thursday during News 8 at Sunrise.

Dr. Mengi began by offering a common scenario. “I don’t know if you’ve ever rushed into a room and as soon as you get in there you say, what did I come in here for? Or, with me, I wear glasses. I’ve searched my house, looking for my glasses and they’re on my face! So, I really wanted to talk about how much of that is normal, and when we should be concerned with any memory changes that we have.”

There are many reasons we lose our memory, according to Dr. Mengi. Age is one of them. “Somewhere in our mid-twenties we begin to lose brain cells, just a few at a time, and our bodies make less of the chemicals needed to make our brain work,” she said. “So those things combined with increased age really can effect our memory and the way that we store and retrieve information.”

Certain things can trigger memory loss. “Memory problems have been associated with things like vitamin deficiencies, depression, certain drugs and medication, alcoholism, and of course, as you can imagine, head injuries or stroke and Alzheimer’s disease,” Dr. Mengi noted. “Memory problems really become more serious when they effect your every day life. For example, if you are forgetting how to get to a place that you’ve been to time and time again or you’re forgetting how to do something that you’ve done repeatedly in the past, then there’s more cause for concern. Another thing to consider is that normal memory changes usually don’t get worse with time, whereas something like Alzheimer’s, it’s going to get progressively worse over months to years. With any memory change you really should talk to your primary care provider.”

For more information about memory loss, click here and search “memory loss” when you get there.

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