You are what you know, what you remember. That is why memory disorders are so disturbing. And, as the population grows older, more and more people become concerned about their memory.
Minor changes in memory are actually normal, and sometimes the perception of memory loss is just a mistake. Depression and anxiety can give you the impression that you are losing your memory when medical testing proves otherwise.
Other people with mild cognitive impairment have real problems with memory or intellect, yet still function normally and are fully independent. Some remain unchanged for many years, but others develop the significant impairment, known as dementia.
Alzheimer’s disease, a degenerative condition of the brain, is the most common cause of dementia. Its intensity can range from mild to severe. But Alzheimer’s disease is not the only condition that causes dementia.
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The Barrow Difference
At the Barrow Alzheimer’s Disease and Memory Disorders Program, our team of neurologists, neuropsychologists, and psychiatrists can help you decide how significant your memory complaint is and tailor treatment to fit your needs.
Many people, reassured that nothing is seriously wrong, can then stop worrying (or learn various “tricks” to get around their problem.) Relieving stress and treating depression and anxiety can improve your memory and overall wellbeing if you are experiencing emotional distress.
If a doctor thinks you have mild cognitive impairment, certain adjustments of lifestyle and experimental treatments may reduce your risk of getting worse.
If the problem is dementia, a precise diagnosis is essential. The various causes of dementia have different implications and different treatments. At Barrow Neurological Institute at Dignity Health St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center our experienced clinical staff has the knowledge and access to technology that allows us to make these important distinctions.
We know that if the diagnosis is Alzheimer’s disease or some other progressive neurological condition, you and your loved ones may react with despair. You might feel as if you are being presented with a hopeless diagnosis, only to be abandoned by the medical profession when you are least able to cope.
But, to the contrary, treatments are now available for most of these conditions. Though there is no cure, it is possible to slow the progression and ease the burden of the disease. Furthermore, we are actively involved in researching and testing promising new treatments. Whatever the diagnosis or the treatment, we understand that you might be distressed by this diagnosis, and we are committed to providing continuing care and counseling to ease the burden.