Does Memory loss in Alzheimer's desease occur before observable brain damage?

Discussion in 'Memory concerns and seeking a diagnosis' started by keithgell, Mar 25, 2015.

  1. keithgell

    keithgell Registered User

    Jun 14, 2014
    I have developed poor memory and a degree of face blindness.

    I have been CRT and MRI scanned, and the scans show my brain is normal.

    Can I rule out Alzheimer's disease as a cause of my memory loss, or can memory loss occur before observable brain damage?

    My memory problems have been going on for around 2 years now. With Alzheimer’s patients, how much time would typically elapse after developing memory loss symptoms, would it take for brain scans to show up damage?
  2. Kevinl

    Kevinl Registered User

    Aug 24, 2013
    Hi Keith
    You don't mention your age but memory loss is quite a normal thing. I'm not yet 60 and even I can see I don't remember things as quickly as I used to, does it bother me No. When I go out with friends of a similar age I feel pretty average as it's obvious they've slowed down too in many cases a lot more than me. I think if you go out with a some people of a similar age to you; friends, family or whatever and then see if you feel like you're not able to cope as well as they do. If the scans are clear and you do feel you are struggling then visit your GP as there can be many other causes relating to vitamin and mineral levels or thyroid for example.
    As the scans are clear then there could be another issue or just getting older and having a few "Senior moments" as Terry Wogan calls them.
  3. stanleypj

    stanleypj Registered User

    Dec 8, 2011
    North West
    Personally, I agree with Kevin that many of us are aware that, as we get older, our memories deteriorate.

    But I also understand that it is possible for AD and other diseases involving dementia to cause memory problems before any brain changes show up on a scan. Scans are only one of many factors that should be considered when a diagnosis is made - and of course they have to be interpreted by human beings who are potentially fallible (though they may not all believe this) and sometimes disagree with each other.

    It would probably be a good idea, if your memory problems continue to worry you, to try and ensure that you are regularly checked.
  4. nitram

    nitram Registered User

    Apr 6, 2011
    North Manchester
    I agree with the previous posters.

    If you forget where you put your car keys, don't worry it's just a 'senior moment'.

    The time to start worrying is when you forget you have a car!!!

    As for names of plants they pop into my head 15 to 20 minutes after I was trying to tell somebody what they are by which time the person has gone and I am at risk of people thinking I'm on the slippery slope to dementia. I now only try to name plants to people who know me.
  5. Wirralson

    Wirralson Account Closed

    May 30, 2012

    I'd strongly endorse this. To give a couple of simple examples, both daibetes and thyroid problems can have some effect on memory and mood, and I know of individuals who convinced themselves they had dementia when in fact those two ailments were the cause. And the last sentence is advice I'd advise anyone to follow - if you're worried, see the relevant professional.

  6. keithgell

    keithgell Registered User

    Jun 14, 2014
    Hi I am 55 years old. Thanks for the reassurance.
  7. Spamar

    Spamar Registered User

    Oct 5, 2013
    Hi nitram, plants... I thought I was really gone a few years ago when I could only remember the Latin name to one of the common weeds. Then, the other day I saw a load of Danish scurvy grass when I was out, couldn't remember the Latin name ( Cochlearia danica) it's the very small white flowers on the sides of the roads now. They grow there because they are salt marsh plants, hence can survive a winter salting.
    I used to work on salt marshes!
  8. keithgell

    keithgell Registered User

    Jun 14, 2014
    I have not forgotten that I do not have a car, and I realise that even people with good memories forget where they put their keys occassionally. But when I found a brief case in a wardrobe, I did forget that it was mine and had been bought for me as a Christmas present by my daughter, albeit some time ago. Another trick my mind is playing on me is I have difficulty recognising some people by their faces. I really do not know what to think.
  9. Anotherdamnlol

    Anotherdamnlol Registered User

    May 2, 2015
    One can have alzheimer's without it showing up on any brain scans. For some the only certainty they had alzheimer's it to have a brain autopsy once they have died.

    A scan is just one diagnostic tool. Sounds like just poor memory, try taking vitamins and minerals see if they help.
  10. BR_ANA

    BR_ANA Registered User

    Jun 27, 2012
    If something has changed, and you are not happy with it seek professional help.

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