Problems with memory, judgment, or problem solving
Adults of all ages occasionally forget where they put their keys or
glasses, where they parked their car, or the name of an acquaintance. Older
adults may take longer to retrieve memories. Although this is a normal part of
aging, not all older adults experience memory changes. This type of memory
problem is more often annoying than serious.
Memory loss that begins suddenly or that significantly interferes
with daily life may indicate a more serious problem.
David Hyde Pierce's longest-running role to date has been as an advocate for
Alzheimer's disease awareness and research. Best known as Niles Crane, the
character he played for 11 years on NBC's hit sitcom Frasier (as well as
his 2008 Tony for the Broadway musical Curtains), Pierce originally got
involved with the Alzheimer's cause for very personal reasons. The disease
claimed his grandfather, and his father likely suffered from Alzheimer's
disease as well.
November is National Alzheimer's...
Dementia is a general
decline in a person's mental abilities that is severe enough to interfere with
daily living and activities. It affects memory, problem solving, learning, and
other mental functions. It may occur over several weeks to several months.
Alzheimer's disease is the most common cause of dementia in older
Delirium (acute confusional state)
is a sudden change in a person's mental status, leading to confusion and
unusual behavior. Symptoms of delirium usually develop over the course of
several hours to a few days and may fluctuate.
Amnesia is memory loss that may be caused by
a head injury, a stroke, substance abuse, or a severe emotional event, such as
combat or a motor vehicle accident. Depending upon the cause, amnesia may be
either temporary or permanent.
Treatment depends on the cause of symptoms. A health professional can
evaluate symptoms and recommend treatment.
Jan Nissl, RN, BS
Susan Van Houten, RN, BSN, MBA
Primary Medical Reviewer
William M. Green, MD - Emergency Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer
H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine
January 13, 2009
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
January 13, 2009
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