Memory loss in Alzheimers disease

Memory loss occurs in all cases of Alzheimers, but in the early stages it can be difficult to detect as people manage to cover it up well. The most recent memories are the first to go, and it's only much later as the Alzheimers condition has become much more severe does the past memory become affected.

The things we've done recently such as in the last hours days or even weeks are placed in our short term memory and it's this recent storage capacity that people with Alzheimers seem to have problems with.

Because memory loss is such an important feature of Alzheimers disease and can also be easily tested for, it forms an important part of the assessment tool which is used to diagnose Alzheimers.

A common test which used to be used extensively was to ask the person suspected of having Alzheimers a series of questions. These covered both the short and the long term memory.

Ten questions commonly asked included

" How old are you
" What is your date of birth
" What day is it today
" What month are we in
" What year is it
" When was the first world war
" What is the name of the prime minister
" Where are you now
" Count backwards from 20-1
" Tell them an address, then ask them to repeat it back to you after five minutes

If the person is co-operative and has been asked these questions in a nice way, (not officiously), this is quite an easy test to perform. It's also a useful test to help diagnose Alzheimers or dementia as it is quick, non invasive and cheap to use. It also gives a rough guide to the areas in the person's memory where there may be problems.

These questions test a person's short term and long term memory problems and they also test for orientation as well.

A low score on its own doesn't prove dementia or Alzheimers disease, because not all people will know all the answers to the questions anyway! It's just a guide to prove that something may be wrong and needs further investigation.

Alzheimer's Disease Guide

Alzheimers Disease
History of Alzheimer's Disease
Types of Dementia
Risk Factors for Alzheimer's Disease
Diagnosing Alzheimer's Disease
Treatment of Alzheimer's Disease
Memory loss in Alzheimers disease
Disorientation and Alzheimers Disease
Disorientation and Alzheimers disease in the home
Alzheimers Disease and Personality
Alzheimer’s disease and Communication
Alzheimer’s disease and sexual behaviour
Alzheimers disease and Risk
Sleep and Alzheimer Disease
Malnutrition and Alzheimer’s disease

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