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Dr Wu
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Category: Mental Health
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Experience:  Board certified in family medicine.
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How quickly can a bad short term memory deteriorate into some

Resolved Question:

How quickly can a bad short term memory deteriorate into some form of dementia
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr Wu replied 7 years ago.



Thank you for submitting your question. First of all, short term memory loss does not always progress to dementia. Short term memory problem is common with aging. Dementia is defined as short term memory loss plus one of the following:

-aphasia: difficulty finding words to express oneself

-apraxia: loss of ability to perform a familiar task(e.g. a typist forgetting how to type)

-agnosia: difficulty naming common objects

-visual-spatial problem: getting lost in familiar environment


The most common form of dementia is Alzheimer's disease. The progression of Alzheimer's disease is very slow, usually takes 6-8 years from onset to severe disease. If you are concerned that you have Alzheimer's, waiting 2 months should not make a big difference.


The usual treatment for Alzheimer's is aricept plus memantine. This combination has been shown to slow disease progression.


I hope this is helpful

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