How to Know If Your Memory Loss is Due to Aging or a Degenerative Disease

As humans age, physical and mental changes will be apparent in certain stages of their lives. From infancy to adulthood, development continues and stops until full maturity is achieved. Some people would do anything they can to look younger than their age. They’ll start to fight aging by being consistent with their skincare and healthy lifestyle. It’s an investment that you’d be thankful for because such lifestyles don’t just affect your physical appearance but also your inward beauty. However, some changes are totally normal when you reach a particular age. Memory loss is one of those, and it’s not always a sign of early dementia.

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The human brain is wired to declutter data that it deems unnecessary or an insignificant detail in your life. Most cases of forgetfulness can be about a conversation years ago — you might remember the topic, but you can’t tell the exact exchange of words that day. Another example is a toy from your childhood that didn’t strike your interest or it was never your favorite. You might forget those details, but when you get reminded of that information, your brain might still recall the event or item. Memory loss is normal, but it gradually happens, and you can still retain brain data in your senior years.

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However, if your memory skills get in the way of your daily life, then it might not be about aging at all. Memory loss that comes with age won’t affect your navigation skills, language, thinking, or simple daily tasks. It could be a sign of mild cognitive impairment if it does. The medical condition could improve or worsen, leading to a degenerative disease. Dementia threat can increase three to five times when a person experiences MCI. An annual record of 10-15% of people with MCI was diagnosed with dementia. The situation can still improve, and you might not belong to the 5-8% of 60-year-olds, an estimate by the WHO.

Having MCI might be anxiety-inducing since you’ll have a potential dementia risk, but it also opens doors to early treatments. If noticeable changes in your memory skills are far from normal, consult your doctor. Early dementia can heavily impact your navigational skills. Aside from losing directional awareness, professionals recommend taking standardized tests to identify other signs of the illness. The examination comes in different forms: pen and paper tests and virtual reality to real-life navigation.

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It might help if you underwent such tests to further analyze your condition and help you plan ahead. Memory loss in aging is normal, but that getting old does not mean you also lose the skills you use every day. Consult your general physician with a loved one to learn about the possible solutions to your problem. It’s best to be one step ahead of a potential disease than wait for it to worsen. Enjoy your senior years without worries by being more attentive to yourself. A lot of people still want to grow old with you. Make new memories when those from your younger years gradually become vague and a thing of the past.

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