Memory Loss in Alzheimers Disease

By: mikeherman1
Do you know your date of birth? The name of the President or Prime Minister? These are questions that are regularly used to test for memory loss - the first symptom of Alzheimer's disease.

Although memory loss occurs in all cases of Alzheimer's disease, it can be difficult to detect in the early stages as many patients manage to cover it up well during tests as a matter of pride.

It's the recent things we've done such as in the last hours, days or even weeks that are the first memories to be lost in Alzheimer's patients.

However, while those things that are placed in our short term memory are the first to go it's only much later as the Alzheimer's condition has become much more severe does the past or longer term memory become affected.

This makes the degree or memory loss a very useful tool in assessing the presence and scope of the disease as if the patient is co-operative and asked in a pleasant way the results can be very revealing.

The following ten questions form part of a common test as they cover both the short and the long term memory and also test for orientation as well.

How old are you?

What is your date of birth?

What day is it today?

What month are we in?

What year is it?

When was the first world war?

What is the name of the President / Prime Minister?

Where are you now?

Can you please count backwards from 20 to 1?

Tell them an address, then ask them to repeat it back to you after five minutes.




Although the test is deceptively easy it is also very useful as it's quick, cheap, non-evasive and helps diagnose Alzheimer's disease or dementia and gives an indication of the areas in the patient's memory that may be affected.

Care must always be taken as a low score on its own doesn't prove dementia or Alzheimer's disease, as not all people will know all the answers to the questions!

Instead it's a guide or an indication that something may be wrong and requires further investigation.
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