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Age or alzheimer
Posted: Sunday, March 16, 2014 9:36 AM
Joined: 3/16/2014
Posts: 2

Just been diagnosed with Alzheimer's and my symptoms are memory loss, can't find 

A word, misplacing objects and short attention span. But when I read the articles for symptoms of Alzheimer's I feel that it could just be age related, only 58, as the article reads. Does anybody else feel this way?

Iris L.
Posted: Sunday, March 16, 2014 1:50 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 18509

Welcome, KCannon.  The diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease is made by ruling out the many other possible causes of memory loss.  A neurologist who regularly diagnoses the dementias is the doctor who is best skilled to perform all the testing and evaluate the results.  Were you evaluated by such a neurologist?  If not, ask your family doctor for a referral to a neurologist or an Alzheimer's Disease Research Center.   


It is important to evaluate for nutritional or hormonal problems, other medical problems, old head injuries, depression, drug side effect or interaction, and other conditions. 


The testing witll include a history and physical exam, blood tests, an MRI, 5-6 hour neurocognitive testing, and possibly other tests the doctor deems necessary.

You can also get a copy of the book, The Alzheimer's Action Plan, by Doraiswamy and Gwyther.  Your library may have a copy.  This book will explain the diagnostic process.


Also, look at the diagnostic page of to get an overview of the diagnostic process:  


Please come back and tell us what testing you have had.

Iris L.

Iris L.
Posted: Sunday, March 16, 2014 4:36 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 18509

KCannon, I'm sorry, but I did not read your profile before I posted my earlier response.  If you have had three heart attacks, you probably have some impairment to blood flow in your brain.  Ask your neuologist about that.

Also, google and read about chemo-brain.  I don't know if you had chemotherapy or radiation.  But there are cognitive effects after cancer treatment.

Iris L.

Mimi S.
Posted: Sunday, March 16, 2014 6:35 PM
Joined: 11/29/2011
Posts: 7027

Hi KCannon,

I think those of us in the know would be interested in the process of your diagnosis. Was time taken to distinguish between the various types of dementias and also that tests were given to rule out other causes.

An excellent starter book is: Living Your Best with Early Stage Alzheimer's by Lisa Snyder.

Also get involved in Best Practices:

1. Take meds as directed.

2. Strenuous physical exercise. And you certainly need to work with your physician on this one.


3. Strenuous mental activity


4. Mediterranean Diet. I also take Omega 3 and antioxidants.

5. Maintain or increase socialization. No couch potatoes.

Do stay in touch.

Posted: Wednesday, March 19, 2014 5:08 AM
Joined: 3/16/2014
Posts: 2

I was referred to a neurologist and he quiz and tested me in his office. With all my recent health problems and emotional problems dealing with loss of brother and employment he sent me to a psychologist for testing. 

    My results there were memory loss, short attention span and decline in intelligence 

Dr diagnosed me with dementia, organic mental disorder and or " chemo brain". 

    Return visit with neurologist, his follow up exam, which included mri showing white 

spots, he diagnosed me with Alzheimer's .


Iris L.
Posted: Wednesday, March 19, 2014 2:54 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 18509

Kenneth, if I were you, I would learn more about chemo brain.  Many older adults have non-specific white matter changes in their MRI.  Do you have the actual report?

Organic brain disease is not the same as Alzheimer's .  Organic brain disease means that some other medical condition is causing the observed changes.  It sounds like your doctor threw in a lot of diagnoses to cover his bases. 

What were the doctor's recommendations?  Chemo brain may be reversible.

Know that often a diagnosis cannot be made all at once.  It may take the passage of time to see what is going on, and to come to a final diagnosis.

Have you followed up with the oncologist?  I wonder what the oncologist would have to say about your chemo brain?

Iris L.

Posted: Wednesday, March 19, 2014 4:48 PM
Joined: 3/19/2014
Posts: 3

I am only 54 going on 55 real fast.  I have had symptoms about five years with progressive symptoms (names, where my car is, cant complete a sentence most days, confusion etc....
Iris L.
Posted: Wednesday, March 19, 2014 4:58 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 18509

Welcome, tinkerbelly.  The memory lapses you have observed may have possible causes other than Alzheimer's, such as hypothyroidism, low vitamin B12, menopause, medication side effect, and others.  Get a thorough medical evaluation by your PCP with blood test and an MRi.  Then get a referral to a neurologist for neurocognitive testing and any other tests the neurologist may believe are indicated.  Then you will have some facts to base a diagnosis on.

Get a copy of The Alzheimer's Action Plan by Doraiswamy and Gwyther, which has information on the diagnostic process.  Read the diagnosis section at

Try to reduce your stress load.  I know that's hard, but try. 

Please keep us updated as to your progress.  When you return, feel free to begin your own thread, so other members can get to know you.

Iris L.

Posted: Wednesday, March 19, 2014 8:16 PM
Joined: 12/6/2011
Posts: 3326

Welcome, tinkerbelly. Have you been tested to find out what's going on? In my family, many members whom have Alzheimer's begin to show symptoms in their late 40's and early 50's. My family carries a genetic form of early onset Alzheimer's. If you haven't already done so, it's important that you get thoroughly tested to eliminate Alzheimer's. As Iris mentioned, there are many different reasons for memory loss that are not Alzheimer's.