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Mental Health

Memory problems and stress

07/21/2009

Question:

My wife has experienced memory loss and anxiety associated with that memory loss. She can start a conversation and forget in midstream what she was talking about, she can have difficulty following the theme of a movie, she can have difficulty remembering where she put something. However, when she pushes herself she can overcome all of these. She just retired and experienced a lot of stress with regard to her job and these issues. We have made use of counselors, psychologists, psychiatrists, and sleep studies. There has been no specific indicator as to what seems to be the problem. She is taking Wellbutrin, celexa, and trazodone. The only person who seems to be recommending anything is the sleep study doctor. He is checking iron, and looking at modifying some of the medications. What are we looking at? What can a geriatric psychologist provide to help? Are we looking at dementia, or early onset alzheimers?

Answer:

Sorry to learn of your wife's condition. I do not even know her age or very much about her, so my answers are general in nature. Any competent neurologist, geriatric psychiatrist should be able to complete an appropriate evaluation, which would include a neurologic exam, potentially neuropsychologic testing, appropriately laboratory testing and neuroimaging.

I hope you understand, but I cannot comment on the specifics of your case. Talk with one of your physicians about this. Best of luck.

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Response by:

Stephen F Pariser, MD Stephen F Pariser, MD
Faculty Emeritus
Professor of Psychiatry
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University