How can one recognize Alzheimers disease from normal memory loss or ordinary forgetfulness?
Everyone experiences memory lapses and forgetfulness from time to time and some decline in memory ability is a normal part of aging. For example, as an individual approaches middle age, his or her ability to recall newly learned information may begin to slip such as recalling people’s names or specific words. These memory problems do not get worse over short periods of time and do not interfere much with the ability to do daily activities. People may compensate for these normal memory changes by repeatedly going over things to be remembered, linking them in their mind with something already well known, or keeping lists of things to do. In contrast, the memory loss in Alzheimer’s disease is much greater than expected for age. The memory lapses are more frequent and severe and interfere with the ability to manage daily activities.