Normal changes in memory occur with aging, but it is important to recognize changes that require further assessment. Alzheimer’s Disease changes may include: poor judgement and decision making, new problems with words in speaking or writing, changes in mood and personality with increased irritability, inability to manage a budget, losing track of the date or season, difficulty having a conversation, misplacing things and being unable to retrace them. There are conditions, which if left untreated can mimic Alzheimers Disease and these need to be investigated and managed. Certain prescription medications, drug interactions, low vitamin B12, an under-active thyroid gland, a tumour, urinary tract infection and untreated depression are all possible causes of a change in cognitive function as well. Women seem to have an increase in vulnerability for cognitive decline with a lower estrogen levels after menopause being one of the contributors.
One of the biggest preventative strategies for memory loss is exercise. Being outside, maintaining movement and socialization are key!
Our pharmacist Carolyn Whiskin is not only a specialist in the field of biologic medication but is also a certified menopause practitioner with the North American Menopause Society (NAMS). She recently returned from the annual NAMS meeting in Philadelphia. Over the next several weeks we will be sharing some of the key learnings from this meeting. Be sure to follow our weekly blog and Facebook page for this information.