As the aging process goes on, forgetful behavior prevails. However, if the mishaps increase to a greater extent, your loved one might suffer from dementia or memory loss. If you notice a significant change, it is high time to go to a neurologist.
Neurological diseases and disorders are prevalent among older people. These diseases also sometimes become life-threatening or fatal if not treated on time. With neurological issues being the fifth highest cause of deaths in America, the need for timely neurological treatment has also substantially increased.
Memory loss and aging
Normal age-related memory loss does not cause significant disruption to your daily life. For example, you may occasionally forget a person’s name, but remember it later in the day. Sometimes you can misplace your glasses. Or maybe you need to make lists more often than in the past to remember appointments or tasks.
These memory changes are generally manageable and do not affect your ability to work, live independently or maintain a social life.
Memory loss and dementia
The word “dementia” is an umbrella term used to describe a set of symptoms, including impairment of memory, reasoning, judgment, language and other thinking skills. Dementia usually starts gradually, worsens over time and impairs a person’s ability to work, social interactions and relationships.
Memory loss that disrupts your life is often one of the first or more recognizable symptoms of dementia. Other early symptoms may include:
Asking the same questions over and over again
Forgetting common words when speaking
Mixing up words – for example saying ‘bed’ instead of ‘table’.
Familiar tasks like following a recipe take longer to complete
Misplacing things in inappropriate places, for example putting your wallet in a kitchen drawer
Getting lost while walking or driving in a familiar area
Changes in mood or behavior for no apparent reason
Diseases that cause progressive brain damage – and subsequently lead to dementia – include:
Alzheimer’s disease, the most common cause of dementia
Dementia with Lewy bodies
limbic-dominant age-related TDP-43 encephalopathy (LATE)
A combination of several of these types of dementia (mixed dementia)
The disease process (pathology) of each of these conditions is different. Memory loss is not always the first symptom and the type of memory problems vary.
Mild cognitive impairment
This includes a significant decline in at least one area of thinking ability, such as memory, that is greater than the changes of aging and less than that seen in dementia. Mild cognitive impairment does not prevent you from performing daily tasks and being socially involved.
Scientists and doctors are still learning about mild cognitive impairment. In many people, the condition eventually progresses to dementia due to Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia-causing disorder.
People with normal age-related memory loss usually do not progress too far and do not develop the spectrum of symptoms associated with dementia.
Reversible causes of memory loss
Many health problems can cause memory loss or other dementia-like symptoms. Most of these conditions can be treated. Your doctor may screen you for conditions that cause reversible memory loss.
Possible causes of reversible memory loss include:
- Medicines. Certain medications or combinations of medications can cause forgetfulness or confusion.
- Minor head injury or injury. A head injury from a fall or accident—even if you don’t lose consciousness—can cause memory problems.
- Emotional disorders. Stress, anxiety, or depression can cause forgetfulness, confusion, difficulty concentrating, and other problems that interfere with daily activities.
- Alcoholism. Chronic alcoholism can seriously impair mental abilities. Alcohol can also cause memory loss by interacting with medications.
- Vitamin B-12 deficiency. Vitamin B-12 helps maintain healthy nerve cells and red blood cells. Vitamin B-12 deficiency – common in older adults – can cause memory problems.
- Hypothyroidism. An underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism) can result in forgetfulness and other thinking problems.
- Brain disease. A tumor or infection in the brain can cause memory problems or other dementia-like symptoms.
- Sleep apnea. Untreated sleep apnea can cause memory problems that improve with appropriate treatment.
In telehealth, teleneurology is bridging gaps by providing timely neurological treatments to patients. The availability of online neurologists for your loved ones suffering from memory loss is no less than a blessing. Patients stay at home, get treatment from supportive online neurologists, get treatment without leaving, and ultimately improve.
Furthermore, a simple examination can clear your thoughts even if you are doubtful about your or your loved ones’ memory loss. All you need to do is to log in to a trustworthy online medical service provider, get a general examination, and you will identify the results.
Let’s help you discover how online consultations with neurologists for memory loss work, how the diagnosis process goes, and the method for treating a possible memory loss problem.
Neurology Consultations for Memory Loss
Many service providers work by providing online neurologist to people suffering from memory loss. The process works systematically.
Online memory loss diagnostic test
The online neurologist starts the process from diagnosis. For initial diagnosis, neurologists have designed a memory loss cognitive test. The test is based on specific questions related to memory. The chain of questions helps patients identify their mental conditions by answering the statements. However, there are different types of tests in this regard. These tests can be related to image, cognition, blood, etc.
These types include self-administration, family tests, and clinic-based memory loss cognition tests. If patients suffer from severe memory loss, the service providers tend to diagnose patients with the help of their caretakers. Once the diagnosis is complete, online neurologists evaluate and discuss possible recommendations with patients.
Online neurologist consultation
In case a patient’s diagnostic test represents some harmful results, doctors refer the patient for consultation. In consultation, doctors go on with an in-detail examination of the patient’s condition. Then, neurologists come on board and ask memory-related queries and questions. This time, the questions are designed as per the patients’ primary mental health data.
The consultation process allows neurologists to inform patients and their families about memory loss and also recommend further required methods. Neurologists may recommend one hospital visit if they need to conduct a CT scan or MRI of the patients.
The next step requires a physical examination of the patient since CT scans and MRIs cannot be done at home. Once in a while, patients go for an MRI scan. This screening helps neurologists diagnose the primary cause of patients’ memory loss. It also aids doctors in identifying if a particular part of the brain is injured.
However, among adults, memory loss can be due to Alzheimer’s. After the scan results, the neurologist drafts a customized plan according to your mental health and initiates the treatment.
After the scanning and screening results, the examination process ends, and treatment starts. As doctors initiate the treatment, they also educate patients and families to use specific software and FDA-approved devices to receive regular updates. Later on, doctors receive patients’ data with the help of these teleneurology monitoring devices. Then, with online updates, doctors connect with patients to identify medication responses, conduct psychological therapy, and examine patients’ daily routines.
Future consultations are remote unless neurologists feel the need for physical treatment. Online consultations with neurologists for memory loss prove to be very beneficial for patients living in remote locations. Teleneurology helps patients who delay consultation due to travel restrictions. Online consultations with neurologists for memory loss help in early diagnosis, reducing the chances of patients ending with chronic neurological disorders.
Your doctor will likely ask you questions. It’s a good idea to have a family member or friend with you to answer some questions based on your observations. Questions may include:
- When did your memory problems start?
- What medications, including prescription medications, over-the-counter medications, and dietary supplements, do you take and in what doses?
- Have you recently started a new drug?
- What tasks do you find difficult?
- What have you done to deal with memory problems?
- How much alcohol do you drink?
- Have you recently been in an accident, fallen or injured your head?
- Have you been sick recently?
- Are you feeling sad, depressed or anxious?
- Have you recently experienced a major loss, major change or stressful event in your life?
Regarding teleneurology, NeuroX is helping patients with neurological disorders. The company’s primary focus is providing teleneurology services to every patient with memory loss or other neurological diseases. Their online neurologist assists patients and their families by staying in regular contact. The neurological plans are custom-based diagnostic tests, and treatment is carried out per patients’ conditions. Patients can also contact NeuroX’s team of board certified neurologists 24/7 in case of emergencies.