Spotting the Warning Signs of Memory Problems: 4 Telltale Changes

Oct 01, 2023
Spotting the Warning Signs of Memory Problems: 4 Telltale Changes
Occasional memory issues usually aren’t anything to be concerned about. However, frequent forgetfulness and other related symptoms should be evaluated. Here are four signs to look for.

A little forgetfulness as we age is typical. For most of us, it’s not usually serious. But when memory problems are severe, worsen rapidly, or are accompanied by other symptoms, they could be a sign of a troublesome medical problem, like mild cognitive impairment (MCI).

With locations in Glendale and Phoenix, Arizona, The Marcann Group offers memory therapies designed to support healthy cognitive function. Here, learn the symptoms of mild cognitive impairment and when to seek a medical assessment.

Mild cognitive impairment: The basics

Memory issues usually occur gradually. For many people, they’re little more than an annoyance. Alternatively, MCI is more than “normal” forgetfulness and mild memory impairment — it involves significant symptoms that worsen — sometimes dramatically — over time.

Data shows about 10 million people have MCI. Of those, about 15% will develop dementia within a year, and roughly a third will develop Alzheimer’s within five years. 

Knowing the signs of MCI is important for two reasons. First, early identification of memory issues helps you get treatment that can delay the onset of more severe problems. Second, when diagnosed early, some memory issues are reversible, particularly issues caused by medication or underlying diseases.

Warning signs

MCI warning signs can be subtle and difficult to differentiate from “normal” aging symptoms. A memory assessment is essential if you notice any decline in memory or cognitive abilities. Watch for these four signs.

1. Friends and family notice your forgetfulness

Consider a memory evaluation if you forget dates, appointments, or words so often that your friends and family notice it. The same applies if you have difficulty understanding simple concepts or performing cognitive actions, like basic math.

2. You have problems with coordination

Memory issues accompanied by problems with coordination or balance can be a sign of more complex cognitive problems or neurological conditions.

3. You forget important dates or names

Forgetting familiar names, places, or important dates could be a sign of a memory problem that could benefit from treatment.

4. You’re moodier, more frustrated, or more impulsive than usual

If you find you feel more frustrated than usual or experience mood changes or depression in addition to memory concerns, it’s time to schedule an evaluation.

MCI doesn’t always lead to dementia

While MCI can be a precursor to more serious cognitive issues in about half of people diagnosed with the condition, the other half will never go on to develop Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia. 

In these instances, early assessment and cognitive therapy can ease your mind while helping you learn techniques to sharpen your memory and cognitive skills as you age.

Our team is skilled in designing memory care therapies focused on each patient’s unique needs, helping people lead fulfilling and independent lives while receiving the care they need to stay healthy. If you or a loved one has signs of MCI or other memory issues, book an appointment online or over the phone with the team at The Marcann Group today.