No, You Probably Don’t Have Alzheimer’s Disease

No, You Probably Don’t Have Alzheimer’s Disease

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At least some of us have experienced slight memory lapses or the occasional bouts of forgetfulness and have quickly jumped (wrongfully) to the conclusion that we’re on the path to Alzheimer’s disease. Fear not, it’s quite normal and generally not something to get worried about. It seems that if you are aware of these “moments”, you can be pretty much assured that your mental capacity is fine.

In the following simple analysis, Professor Bruno Dubois, Director of the Institute of Memory and Alzheimer’s Disease (IMMA) at La Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital Paris talks about the subject in a way that simplifies the issue and reassures the reader.

According to Professor Dubois, “If anyone is aware of his memory problems, he does not have Alzheimer’s.”

But, but…

You may disagree, saying “But, but…I forget the names of friends or sometimes even those of my family members.” Or, “I don’t remember where I put things, or I find myself standing in a room wondering why I went in there in the first place and secondly, what was it I going to do?”

As you’ll see, you’re not alone as these are some of the most common complaints that folks over 60 report:

  • forgetting the name(s) of people
  • going into a room in the house and not remembering why they were going there
  • a blank memory when trying to remember a movie title or who starred in it, or the title and subject of a book
  • the inability to recall where they left their glasses, wallet or keys

Apparently, this happens to all of us, especially after the age of 60! The problem is that when we begin to notice the frequency of these “memory lapses”, we tend to jump to the conclusion that we are losing our ability to remember things – what we were doing, places, people – to name just a few scenarios. But it’s normal. It’s not necessarily the onset of Alzheimer’s.

Forgetfulness Could Be a Good Sign

According to a new study conducted by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Canada and published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, being aware of forgetfulness is a sign that you’re unlikely to develop dementia. It’s those who are unaware of their forgetfulness, a condition called anosognosia, who are more likely to go on to develop the disease.

“If patients complain of memory problems, but their partner or caregiver isn’t overly concerned, it’s likely that the memory loss is due to other factors, possibly depression or anxiety,” said the study’s lead author Dr. Philip Gerretsen.

Some More Reassurance…

Many people are concerned about their so called ‘oversights’ despite evidence to the contrary. So, Professor Bruno Dubois does endeavour to reassure the majority of people who have these concerns by publishing the following important observations:

Those who are conscious of being forgetful have no serious problem with memory. Those who suffer from a memory illness or from Alzheimer’s, are not aware of what is happening.

The more we complain about memory loss, the less likely we are to suffer from memory sickness.

For more information about Alzheimer’s and several cognitive tests you can perform for yourself or for a person you may be concerned have perform, visit these links:

 

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