Is it normal aging or early signs of dementia?

Because I have people on both sides of my family who have suffered from Alzheimer’s or dementia, I know I am particularly sensitive to my cognitive state. But, I believe that is typical of everyone over 50 years old.

Misplacing keys. Forgetting names. Struggling to find the right word. Walking into a room and forgetting why.

Are these early signs of dementia? Or normal signs of aging?

It all depends on the circumstances, health experts say. To distinguish between changes associated with typical aging and concerning signs of cognitive loss requires a deeper look.

“Instead of thinking about things in terms of what is a sign of dementia, I would ask, ‘What is the situation in which those signs appear?'” said Dr. Jeffrey Keller, founder and director of the Institute for Dementia Research and Prevention in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. “It’s how the brain functions in response to a challenge that demonstrates early changes that can lead to dementia.”

In other words, a person experiencing normal aging may experience some memory lapses, he said. But more important than whether they’ve misplaced their keys is whether they’re able to retrace their steps to find them. Or whether they can retain information long enough to carry out a multi-part task, such as filling out medical or tax forms, even if interrupted while doing so.

3 Comments

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3 responses to “Is it normal aging or early signs of dementia?

  1. This report is right on the money in terms of ageing! I find it very rare to come across a person in my age group, I’m 76, who doesn’t have some form of forgetfulness. This was a very useful article in my opinion. Early today there was a programme that spoke of the importance of measured breathing as a way of calming one down. As in breath in for a count of 4 and breathe out for a count of 6. Apparently just doing it for 2 or 3 cycles can calm one. The breathing rate is directly linked to the brain pace.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I couldn’t agree more. What you describe is the breathing technique I Iearned doing yoga in my 30’s. Absolutely worthwhile technique. While I don’t assume yoga positions every day, I definitely do that breath control every day. It is also super for calming yourself when you go to bed.

      Liked by 1 person

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