An Explanation of Alzheimer’s Disease & Memory Loss
Memory loss doesn’t always mean Alzheimer’s disease is developing. There are some memory issues seniors can experience due to aging, poor emotional health, or another type of dementia. However, Alzheimer’s causes progressive damage to the brain that leads to memory impairment, among other health issues. Here are some of the connections between Alzheimer’s disease and memory loss.
Abnormal Deposits of ProteinAlzheimer’s causes toxic changes to the brain, such as abnormal deposits of proteins that disrupt brain function and cause amyloid plaques and tau tangles to form. When this happens, healthy neurons stop functioning and eventually die. The damage from these proteins generally takes place in the hippocampus, which is the part of the brain responsible for forming memories. Over time, more neurons will die and cause shrinkage of brain tissues.If your loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, help is just a phone call away. There are many reasons seniors might need assistance. Some may require regular mental stimulation due to an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, while others might only need part-time assistance with exercise and basic tasks. Butterfly Dreams Respite Care is a leading care home Edmonton, AB, families can rely on to help their senior loved ones maintain a high quality of life.
Memories that Could Be ImpactedThe first type of memory to be affected by Alzheimer’s disease is generally the short-term memory. Seniors forget things that happened within the past few minutes but can remember people and significant events from more than 20 years ago. As the disease progresses, it leads to long-term memory loss, which means losing permanent memories. Older adults have different long-term memories stored in the brain, and most of those memories will be impacted by Alzheimer’s at some point. These long-term memories include:
- Semantic memory – Having a vocabulary of words and knowing what each word or phrase means
- Procedural memory – Knowing specific steps necessary to act, such as reciting the lyrics to a favourite song, riding a bicycle, or cooking a family recipe
- Episodic memory – Recalling memories related to a specific event in a person’s life, such as a wedding, high school graduation, or the birth of a child