I’m getting more forgetful. How do I know what’s normal and what’s the beginning of Alzheimers?

Over half of menopausal women report having short-term memory issues. We all sometimes forget why we walked into a room, where we put the car keys, where we parked the car in a massive lot. Unless they happen regularly, those things are not typically cause for concern. On the other hand, see your doctor if you:

  • Can’t remember how to get home from a familiar place.
  • Struggle to follow a typical conversation, follow the steps of a recipe, play a favorite game, or find the right word for a familiar object.
  • Ask the same question over and over, even after you’ve been given the answer.
  • Frequently lose track of what day, month, year, or season it is.

If the thought that you may have dementia is making you anxious, then ask your doctor for an assessment so you can know if you’re in the normal range. (It looks like a blood test that can detect beta amyloid, a protein that’s characteristic of Alzheimer’s, will be available before long.) Your doctor can also check your medications, which might be affecting your memory. In any case, the meeting will either put your mind at ease or serve as an early indication that you have a condition to be managed.