Dementia is a term that is used to describe an assortment of diseases that adversely affect brain function. Collectively, it refers to the effects of Alzheimer’s disease (which marks 60 to 80% of all dementia cases), brain damage from a stroke or an injury, impairment from Huntington’s disease, and so forth. Generally, dementia is applied to the more severe aspects of mental impairment, rather than the occasional lapse of memory that occurs in most people as they age.
In order to receive a diagnosis of dementia, an individual must be impaired in two areas other than memory. Loss of memory is quite common in senior and the elderly, and is not considered to be a definitive symptom of dementia. In most cases, dementia is a progressive illness, where symptoms emerge slowly, and then significantly increase over time. Short-term memory loss may be one sign of this disease, where patients begin to misplace things, or forget appointments; where this memory loss gradually worsens as the days, months, and years go by.
If you think you or a loved one is experiencing early-stage dementia, it is vital to visit a doctor to seek diagnosis and treatment. While there is no cure for the illness, various treatments (including medicines, therapies, and alternative medicines) can help slow down symptoms.
It is not uncommon for those in the early stages of dementia to experience short-term memory loss. Although remembering the past, even decades ago, is fairly easy, a person with early-stage dementia can have difficulty remembering yesterday or last week. They may forget little things, like paying a phone bill, a lunch date with a friend, or a doctor’s appointment. The humorous anecdote of going into to a room and forgetting the reason for it, rings very true for an individual who is experiencing early-stage dementia.
Unfortunately, short-term memory loss worsens over time. Therefore, it is imperative to visit a doctor, as soon as this warning sign pops up, to seek treatment, in order to help slow this symptom down.