What are Memory Disorders?
Memory disorders are brain-based conditions that affect retention and recollection of memories. Everyone experiences some lapse of memory periodically, and some decline in memory is normal as we age. However, with memory disorders, people have more significant memory loss that may interfere with their work, social activities, personality, behavior, and ability to perform daily tasks.
Impairments in memory may be due to many conditions, Alzheimer's disease, vascular dementia caused by small strokes in the brain, diabetes or high blood pressure, Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus (NPH), or even depression.
What is Alzheimer's Disease?
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a specific type of dementia and the most common form. It is a progressive, degenerative disease that causes slow decline of nerve cells in the brain. Individuals with AD experience progressive and irreversible loss in thinking abilities, including language and memory. Changes are also witnessed in mood, personality, sleep-wake cycles, and behavior. In AD, nerve cells involved in learning and short-term memory are affected early which is the reason memory loss is an early symptoms of Alzheimer's disease.
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What is Vascular Dementia?
Vascular dementia, the second most common type of dementia, is associated with problems in the circulation of blood to the brain (cerebrovascular disease). Risk factors for this type of dementia include: high blood pressure, diabetes mellitus, high cholesterol, history of transient ischemic attacks (TIA), heart rhythm abnormalities, and evidence of disease in arteries elsewhere in the body.