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Forgetful
Forgetful
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Are memory problems always Alzheimer?


If forgetfulness increases, this can indicate a beginning dementia. But not always. Also other causes can be behind decreasing intellectual capacity

In the weekday lets down forget a name, misplace the glasses or lose the thread in the conversation - the thinking organ has young like old people many times. At first forgetting at himself fulfills even important functions for the memory performance. The brain filters off from the high tide of the data, what for a man fundamentally is, unimportant is sorted out because. Room is so made for new contents again and again. Information which the brain would like to receive for a long time reaches the long-term memory. It stores temporarily what is needed only at short notice like the purchase list in the short-term memory.

The normal memory performance is subject to also bigger fluctuations depending on situation and personal constitution. Counting as one of the frequent memory problems forgetting names, objects, plans or appointments, studying contents, faces as well as anomias or orientation difficulties. Memory losses frequently concern the short-term, but also the long-term memory.

Temporary thinking and memory weaknesses

Sleep defect, increased stress, pressure of time, emotional loads but also positive diversion, such as being in love, being able to influence the intellectual efficiency for a short time negatively. Loud surroundings also aggravate often the concentration. Solitude and lacking suggestion paralyze just the intellectual alertness on the other side. Because the thinking organ works best if it is exercised and demanded. Moreover, the physical constitution plays a role. Body fluid deficit can immediately for example have an effect on the thinking performance primarily with senior citizens.

Particularly serious consequences for the efficiency of the brain have alcohol abuse and drugs. You can damage the intellectual capacity lastingly, too.

Memory and intellectual performance in old age

Dysmnesias more frequently concern the short-term memory in old age. Older people need more time sometimes, too, until they have learned new contents and then can call also reliably. The intellectual efficiency, however, does not have to decrease inevitably with the years of life. There are great individual differences. An active, healthy way of life supports in addition the brain functions.

So that the brain can comply well with his various tasks, it needs sufficiently nutrients and oxygen. Circulatory disorders which frequently increase with the age also therefore have an effect on the memory performance negatively. But among other things everybody can by non-smoking and regular physical movement do something himself to prevent an arteriosclerosis. This moreover helps against overweight and holds the vessels and thus also the mind fitly.

Diseased causes of dysmnesias

Doctors describe striking memory losses as amnesia. It is about the inability starting suddenly or creepingly to establish something new in the memory as well as to retrieve memory contents again, when required. Amnesias can include events (retrograde amnesia) being behind and current information (anterograde amnesia). Depending on cause they go back again or last durably.

A badly adjusted diabetes as well as high blood pressure are part of the list of possible diseased triggers of serious but most temporary memory problems. Infectious diseases like a pneumonia, thyroid gland disturbances or deficiency symptoms, for example vitamin B12 defect can negatively have an effect on the intellectual efficiency, in addition. A treatment of the basic illness then lets the brain usually work (also see section "therapy") again better, too.

A certain medicine can cause from the point of view of time restricted dysmnesias, for example at too high dosages. Medicines are part of the drainage, some blood pressure sinkers, severe pain and tranquilizer. Particularly with older people deficits can be frequently explained by unwanted effects by soporifics, certain antidepressants or antihistaminics of older type in the attentiveness and the intellectual reaction capacity. Whoever has doubt should always speak with his doctor, stop taking the drug under no circumstances, however, high-handedly and abruptly.

Emotional illnesses like depressions, fear illnesses or psychoses influence thinking events and memory. At a depression thinking processes are frequently blocked, the power of concentration is reduced. If clear memory problems come added to that, the persons affected often have worry about becoming dementia. Intellectual performances falling off do always not point to a dementia particularly in higher years of life, behind this an age depression also can hide herself. Therefore it is important that a specialist, approximately a neurologist or a psychiatrist with tests and thorough examinations delimits a depressive illness from a dementia. Because a depression and connected thought disorders with her can be often given therapy successfully in old age, too. Learn more to causes, symptoms and therapies in the adviser "depressions".

Moreover, consequences for the intellectual efficiency have disturbances which appear like post-traumatic load disturbances or so-called customization disturbances after drastic experiences. Gaps in the memory also can appear besides dangerous and painful memories. Depressions, fears and physical troubles frequently indicate the various syndrome. The adviser thoroughly informs "post-traumatic load disturbances (PTBS)".

Special case: Transient global amnesia

The memory suddenly is on strike. They are for the persons affected - (most amnesia more than 60 years oldly the temporary (transient) memory gremlin is, also: amnestic episode) worrying extremely. You can only remember new impressions and contents for few seconds. You do not not know any more either why they are at a certain place and what goes off just around her, however, which has happened for a short time before the memory failure. Most know very well, though, who they are and they quite of course use used to learn.

Possible triggers:
+ strange physical effort
+ emotional load
+ a jump into the cold water
+ sexual intercourse
+ otherwise: Spontaneous appearance

After at the most a day and a night, as a rule after three to twelve hours the memory then works normally again. A gap in the memory lasts for the time only of the amnesia itself. Generally the event does not have any consequences for the brain performance. Sometimes a grave cause can be, however, behind this, too, approximately a concussion or an epilepsy (see also below). Therefore a doctor should always clarify the short-time memory loss to exclude one perhaps behind an illness hidden from it.

Dysmnesias: Beginning dementia illness?

It gets alarming if clear brain performance disturbances which stop memory problems over months and further intellectual failures arrive are apparent. Dementia illnesses then belong to the most dreaded causes due to brain breakdown processes, like the Alzheimer illness or the so-called vascular dementias at which circulatory disorders damage the brain durably. But learned complex abilities and techniques once, too be lost to not only memories and noticing abilities at a dementia. The intellectual capacity decreases. The loss of memory makes progress and the personality changes lastingly.

Among other things warning signs for a beginning dementia can be:
+ particularly the short-term memory falls off conspicuously. Wortfindungs and orientation problems arrive. Everyday words do not occur to the persons affected any more themselves, they get lost once in a while. They do not know the times or days often any more either.
+ it is difficult increasingly or does not turn out well any more to learn something new.
+ intellectual and practical skills which, till now, were without problems callable suddenly cause difficulties: The mathematics professor does not create simple sums any more, the hobby cook permanently has the rice lit.
+ the personality also changes: Either the persons affected are exhausted depressively disgruntledly driveless or restless and aggressive than in the past. Your discernment falls off, they are irritated about unimportant events, on the other hand, stay with shattering events completely unmovedly.
+ the weekday is impaired by the memory weaknesses more and more. Members and friends notice the problems themselves sooner than the persons affected which often do not want to admit her.

The family doctor can often already find out with relatively simple tests whether symptoms for a dementia are existing. Further extensive examinations and tests follow with the neurologist or in a memory outpatient department. At suspicion of a psychiatric suffering a psychiatrist is consulted.

To causes, symptoms, from dementia illnesses the advisers "Alzheimer illness" and "vascular dementia" inform diagnosis and therapies containing.

Memory reduction: Which possible causes are there still?

In addition, the specialists will follow further possible reasons for a relieving brain performance. Brain tumors, cerebral infarctions, inflammations of the cerebral vessels as well as skull brain injuries, are included. A whiplash injury and injuries at the cervical spine can have chronic concentration and memory problems the consequence from time to time, too. The brain gets too little oxygen approximately at a cardiac arrest, at shock conditions at short notice, by chokings or bathing accidents, chronic damages are possible depending on duration and extent of the oxygen deficiency with memory problems.

There is usually for the time of the amount a gap in the memory after an epileptic amount. Serious epilepsy illnesses with frequent amounts decrease memory and intellectual efficiency from time to time durably, too.

Inflammable illnesses of the central nervous system like a multiple sclerosis can lead to dysmnesias in her course. Other brain reduction illnesses which attack the intellectual capacity are the Parkinson illness, the Lewy body illness or a chorea Huntington.

In the course of a serious alcohol illness and distinctive defect conditions, approximately a vitamin B1 defect or an anorexia a Wernicke-Korsakow syndrome can develop. The persons affected then have difficulties in learning and storing reliably new information. The confabulation, telling invented experiences and not stories suitable for a subject, is also typical. Orientation problems as well as various nerve disturbances arrive particularly at feet and legs.

Therapy of diseased dysmnesias

Depending on illness picture different therapeutical measures are announced. As a rule, if the memory losses are result of an inner illness, the intellectual efficiency brings herself back to normal with a consistent treatment.

A good attitude of the pressure values can help at high blood pressure by the suitable medicine like Aceon or Inderal to prevent the development of later brain performance disturbances. This applies as well to unfavorable blood grease values. A conscientious blood sugar management is an essential precautionary measure for people with diabetes to get the intellectual efficiency for a long time.

It is aim of the treatment of an Alzheimer illness or another progressive dementia for which independence of the patient reaches just like possible to maintain. Help specific training of the memory functions and everyday competences in the context of psychosocial therapies here. It is important for the members to let himself comprehensively advise. Self-help groups bring additional support (also see link below). Medicine, so-called Antidementiva, can improve the intellectual abilities and delay the brain performance reduction for certain time primarily if the fallen ill get her in a still early disease stage.

Out of fear of the diagnosis many persons affected delay a necessary doctor visit and try to ignore first warning signs. Early action brings the best chances just at dementia illnesses the conditions of life to form optimal if possible.