How is memory affected?

Memory loss is often one of the first symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. the explanation.

More than 200,000 new cases of Alzheimer’s disease are diagnosed in France each year. Object loss, language disorder, memory loss, difficulty performing certain daily tasks: Some signs suggest the presence of this neurodegenerative dementia.

Memory loss is the most noticeable of the signs usually associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Memory is broken down into several functions, they do not all change at the same level and at the same time of disease. Thanks to an analysis conducted by experts in neuropsychology, La Tribune became interested in the different types of memories affected by this disease.

episodic and semantic memory

Generally, it is the episodic memory that is affected the most, i.e. the one that refers to remembering certain events such as birthdays, weddings, etc. Patients also forget moments they have lived or interactions with other people: “It is this type of memory that is often tested in neuropsychology when evaluating dementia, and it is also this type of memory that is studied in most research on Alzheimer’s disease.“, note the authors of this study.

Semantic memory is also affected by the disease. Actually, it is not necessary that patients use the right word at the right time, they forget some knowledge like country name etc. The latter is now at the center of scientific research. Researchers have shown that semantic memory is the first impairment in Alzheimer’s disease. This is confirmed by a study. Patients may have started to have deficits in semantic memory by 12 years before they are diagnosed with dementia.

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take the signs seriously

As the disease progresses, another memory is affected: that of facts. Thus, patients gradually forget all the events of their life. Often childhood memories remain. The memory of old facts is also lost: memories fade away as they slowly go up in the thread of life. At the end of life, we often find that childhood memories remain. It seems that the person lives in another reality: they often think they are younger than they are. Often, she lives in the past as a disconnect from the present.

Everyone has blackouts from time to time. Something should be a warning sign, as Insarm specifies. In fact, special attention should be paid to unusual lapses that affect daily life. “France has built a network of highly specialized memory centers in the diagnosis of these conditions, with more than 400 consultation sites spread across the region.“, indicates inserm. Thus to be “words on the tip of the tongue”, objects that one can no longer recognize, if these situations are repeated and also concern those around them, So consultation with a doctor or neuropsychologist is necessary to make a diagnosis.

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