Healthy Living

May 15, 2014 7:17 AM by Lindsay MacLeod, KSBY News

Diagnosing dementia and Alzheimer's

Doctors say it's important to understand that not all memory loss is Alzheimer's and making the right diagnosis is crucial since some forms of memory loss are treatable.

Dementia means short term memory loss. It doesn't mean you forget big things like your birthday or the President. You forget why you stood up or that you put a pot on the stove. It can be associated with confusion and behavioral problems.

The treatable causes of dementia include thyroid problems, Vitamin B12 deficiency, and little strokes that impact memory without causing other symptoms.

Alzheimer's is not treatable. Bottom line, doctors say if you think someone has Alzheimer's, you need to rule out all the treatable causes of dementia and have precise memory tests done by an expert.

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