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Is This Mild Cognitive Impairment?

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Elaine Danan, Providence, RI writes in about concerns about having mild cognitive impairment.

Hi, I’m Elaine. I’m 52. My mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Oct 2010 at 77. And my maternal grandmother was showing symptoms and died at 88.

I have been having “episodes” that I don’t recognize in the different types of dementia listed. Could it be mild cognitive impairment?

#1 example: Today Dec 29th my son, Salem got married at the courthouse in CA. On New Year’s Day the newlyweds will fly to Germany to live where she’s from.

Next thing, I find myself writing to my brother, Dave. I am wishing him a happy Birthday Jan 29th.  Telling him the news that my son was married on his birthday today. I caught myself in the incongruity. I have plans to be in China Jan 29th and know I’ll probably forget my brother’s birthday altogether.

#2 example: Yesterday was Tuesday. Thursday I have to bring a fruit salad to a meeting, so I’ll have to make it the night before. Why do I think I will make it “tomorrow”?

This seems to be the format for my episodes. Dates and times that either doesn’t correspond,. Or should in the present time.

Is there a term for this?



advice - word in letterpress typeElaine,

I am not a doctor, but I would suggest that you get tested for dementia. You may have a form of mild cognitive impairment.

Of course, you could be a very busy person and multitasking. You have so much on your plate that you are not focusing and concentrating on the task at hand.

There are many things that could be causing your distress. Many cognitive problems are “NOT” dementia.

You may be experiencing another medical condition. This may be affecting your thought process. A vitamin deficiency or a urinary tract infection. These are few things that may affect your mental status. Of course, if you have a family history a form of dementia and you are concerned, get an assessment. Understand that having the gene for dementia, does not mean that you will develop the disease.

The most important thing is, if dementia it is important to get an early diagnosis.

There are medications and treatments that can delay the progression of the disease.

Part of a dementia prevention program is to remain active. Doing something new and different everyday is great for the brain.

I see that you travel. That is one of the best things you can do- be physically and mentally challenging.

Seeing new places. Experiencing situations get you out of your comfort zone. This builds new connections to different parts of your brain.

I hope that you will see your health care provider and discuss your symptoms and concerns. The sooner the better.

It will give you peace of mind or a chance for early treatment.