Memory loss often results from progressive diseases that attack the cells in your brain. The treatments for progressive memory loss are most effective when given early. Unfortunately, standard medical practices do not catch memory loss in its early stage.
This makes the question, “Do I have a memory problem?” all the more important. Answering this question can make a significant difference in your quality of life. Ignoring the question can lead to undue emotional and financial loss for you and your family.
Can I detect my own memory loss?
When people ask themselves, “Do I have a memory problem?” they often answer this question, by saying, “My memory is fine. I can remember what I did at the prom 25 years ago. Or a golf score I posted, 30 years ago.” But if you’ve ever known someone with Alzheimer’s, they can remember facts from a long time ago. What they fail to remember are the things that have happened to them in the last few hours or days. It is actually very difficult, if not impossible, for someone to recognize that he or she is experiencing memory loss, especially in its early stages.
Will my doctor detect memory loss?
You may be thinking, “I get a physical every year, if I have memory loss, surely my doctor will detect it.” Unfortunately, the 1999 report by the US Surgeon General suggests that your primary care doctor probably will not detect your memory loss. Only 3% of people with the early signs of dementia will be identified during a routine physical exam. Indeed, for over 75% of the cases, either the doctor won’t notice the memory problem, or if they do notice the problem, it will already be at a moderate to profound stage. Identifying early stage memory loss requires specialized training not given to your primary care physician.
Why is early stage memory loss hard to detect?
The reason early stage memory loss is so hard to detect is because memory is very complex and the diseases of memory are very complex as well. There are many sub-types of memories, event memories, fact memories, skill memories and (many) others. A disease in the early stages may attack some types of memories and leave the others untouched. This is why a simple 5- or 10-minute test of memory will rarely, if ever, catch memory disease in its early stages. This is why doctors and loved ones don’t notice the problem in its early stages. To detect memory loss in its earliest stages, you need to test all the sub-systems of memory with a comprehensive assessment.
How does MARS detect early stage memory loss?
MARS Memory-Health Network specializes in memory assessment. At MARS Memory-Health Network, we believe a healthy mind is at least as important as a healthy body.
Our goal is to help maintain your brain functioning and quality of life as you age. To achieve this goal, we have developed the MARS Memory Check-up. It uses the most valid and reliable assessments to evaluate each memory sub-system. The MARS Memory Check-up will reliably determine whether your memory is functioning normally for your age.
We recommend regular MARS Memory Check-ups for everyone aged 55 and over. By making the MARS Memory Check-up a part of your yearly health routine, you will provide yourself with the best defense against memory loss.