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You may have wondered this yourself.

I hear this question fairly frequently.  I have been in many situations where someone who is young (under age 60), will question whether the memory lapses they sometimes have are a sign of early stage dementia or Alzheimer’s.  Perhaps they sometimes lose their train of thought mid sentence.  Or know someone’s face but cannot remember their name.  Or become overwhelmed with too many of life’s details.  Well, the Alzheimer’s Association has a simple chart that may help us with sorting this question out for ourselves.  I use it here, in hopes that it allows someone to understand that some of these moments are just age related.  Here it is in summary:

Signs of Alzheimer’s

Typical age-related changes

Poor judgment and decision making Making a bad decision once in a while
Inability to manage a budget Missing a monthly payment
Losing track of the date or the season Forgetting which day it is and remembering later
Difficulty having a conversation Sometimes forgetting which word to use
Misplacing things and being unable to retrace steps to find them Losing things from time to time

This is a pretty handy chart.  And more information is available at www.alz.org.  Of course if you think you or someone you love has symptoms that are more on the left side of the chart, by all means see a physician for an evaluation.  It is never too soon.