Home HealthTopics Health Centers Reference Library Research
Join us on Facebook Join us on Facebook Share on Facebook

Alzheimer's Disease

Drastic Short-term Memory Loss

04/22/2003

Question:

My mother-in-law is 82. Healthy, vibrant. Still running her own real estate business. The past six months have revealed a steady decline in her short-term memory. We understand the eventualities of age, but this decline is rapid and severe. Are there any vitamins or medications, anything, which would help her get back on track? My main concern is the physiological effects of the stress from her awareness of her "weakening mind". Thank you very much.

Answer:

The first step is for your Mother-in-law to be evaluated by a clinician who specializes in memory loss. When family members notice changes, it is usually more than memory loss that can be attributed to a person`s age. There are many conditions that can cause memory loss and the treatment depends on the reason for the problem. Memory loss can occur with some medical conditions such as thyroid problems or B-12 deficiency, depression, sleep apnea, or the neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer`s Disease, and there are of course, different treatments for each of these. So the answer to your question is "Yes", there are treatments for memory problems and medications that can help to stabilize them. It would be in your mother-in-law`s best interest to have a formal evaluation. She is lucky that you are concerned about this because it is best to treat a problem sooner rather than later. Best of luck.

Related Resources:

University Memory and Aging Center

For more information:

Go to the Alzheimer's Disease health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Wendy Lemere, MSN, RN, CS
Formerly
Case Western Reserve University

Paula K Ogrocki, PhD Paula K Ogrocki, PhD
Assistant Professor of Neurology
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University