Possible Early Dementia
Possible Early Dementia Overview
Dementia is a serious brain disorder that interferes with a person’s ability to carry out everyday tasks.
Alzheimer's disease usually begins with mild, slowly worsening memory loss. Many older people fear that they have Alzheimer's disease because they can’t find their eyeglasses or remember someone’s name.
Memory loss follows a specific pattern in Alzheimer's disease. The losses are mainly in short-term memory. This means that the person has problems remembering recent events.
MCI is a transitional zone between age-related memory loss and Alzheimer's disease. A person is often said to have MCI when he or she has Alzheimer's-like memory loss while the mind remains "sharp" otherwise.
There are other types of MCI, but the type involving short-term memory loss is the most common. Medical professionals call this type “amnestic” MCI. Amnestic has the same root as the word amnesia, meaning memory loss.
We are still learning about MCI. We don’t know how common it is, for example.
From studies in the brains of people with Alzheimer's disease or amnestic MCI, we know that the changes are similar. Therefore, amnestic MCI is generally considered to be due to an early form of Alzheimer's disease.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/24/2014
Rodrigo O Kuljis, MD
Nestor Galvez-Jimenez, MD
Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD
Helmi L Lutsep, MD
Must Read Articles Related to Possible Early Dementia
Patient Comments & Reviews
The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Possible Early Dementia:
Possible Early Dementia - Symptoms
If you or a loved one may be suffering from early dementia, what are the symptoms?
Brain and Nervous System Resources
- Symptoms of a Severe Allergic Reaction
- Breast Cancer Treatment Options
- Is Your Body Ready for Pregnancy?
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape
Perhaps the most important challenge in treating dementia is identifying cases (albeit uncommon) of reversible dementia such as chronic drug intoxication, vitamin deficiencies (B-12 and folate), subdural hematoma(s), major depression (causing forgetfulness), normal pressure hydrocephalus (NPH), and hypothyroidism.