- Memory loss, also called mnesic disorders, is an alteration of the ability: either to memorize a new fact, or to find a memory, or to do both.
- Nearly 6 million French people report having frequent memory problems, according to a 2018 Odoxa survey.
- One in five French people (9 million people) has already feared that their memory loss is linked to Alzheimer’s disease, according to the same survey.
Not remembering where you put your keys, forgetting the title of the movie you watched last night, having a word on the tip of your tongue… Everyone has already experienced these holes of passing memory. And that’s quite normal, forgetting is a necessity and our memory cannot always function at 100% of its capacity.
Still, all memory loss, also called mnesic disorders, are not equal: some are harmless while others are downright disabling and portend the worst. When should you worry about it?
Difficulty concentrating, speaking…
In people prone to memory loss, several symptoms are considered to be of concern, details the Merck Manual of Diagnoses and Therapy, a reference source for doctors and pharmacists. Among the warning signs that should alert:
– Difficulty performing usual daily tasks: for example, not knowing how to do what you have done all your life, such as preparing a meal, getting dressed, tidying up, cleaning…
– Difficulty concentrating (to read, play cards, calculate in the head, retain information, etc.)
– Daily confusion: getting lost in familiar places, forgetting the first names of loved ones, forgetting your destination when you leave home, storing objects inappropriately (for example, putting your watch in the fridge)…
– Signs of depression: loss of appetite, suicidal ideation, sleep disturbances…
– A slowdown in general activity and speech (difficulty structuring language, an idea, or understanding certain everyday situations).
If one of your relatives presents these symptoms, it is recommended to take him to see his doctor.
When we forget that we forget…
In case of doubt, it may be wise to carry out what is called a “memory check-up”, a medical interview which makes it possible to carry out an initial evaluation of memory disorders: what types of things the person forgets, when this has happened. he started, are there signs of aggravation… Before carrying out a possible neurological examination.
On the other hand, the very fact of worrying about one’s memory lapses is considered rather positive: people with memory problems linked to a disease such as Alzheimer’s or dementia tend to forget… that they forget. A phenomenon called anosognosia. This is where those around you can start to worry.
To preserve your memory, you must preserve your health: have a healthy lifestyle, get enough sleep, maintain physical activity and stimulate your brain – intellectually and socially speaking. A way of life that not only allows you to maintain a good memory and a good general condition, but also reduces the risk of developing a cognitive deficit or Alzheimer’s disease.