Memory loss is a normal part of aging, and as you get older, some people may notice that it takes longer to learn new things, they don’t remember information as well as in the past, they more often have a word on the tip of their tongue, or they lose things more often. These usually are signs of mild forgetfulness, not serious memory problems. However, at a certain point, memory loss can be an indicator of dementia and/or developing dementia.
In contrast, when memory loss becomes so pervasive and severe that it begins to disrupt the person’s everyday functioning, especially if there are also changes in personality or judgment, then dementia might be developing. If a serious memory problem is suspected, it is recommended that you talk with your primary care doctor, who can refer you to a specialist if needed.
If an individual is experiencing memory loss, it is important for them to discuss it with their doctor, as they may be a candidate for a neuropsychological assessment. Neuropsychologists assess patients and can make a conclusive diagnosis of dementia and/or rule out the disease, and get patients on the right path toward treatment. Cone Health Neurorehabilitation Center has a dedicated neuropsychologist who specializes in assessments for mild cognitive impairment and dementia.
Dr. Michael Zelson is a neuropsychologist at Cone Health Neurorehabilitation Center. Dr. Zelson received a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of Pennsylvania in 1982. He earned a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Delaware in 1989.