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Is general forgetfulness a symptom of Alzheimer? What are the other symptoms?

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Practicing since : 2001
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Worried about my dad :

Hello, i am very worried about my dad. He is 63 years old. there no no alzheimers history in the ffamily. All my grandparents died after the age of 80 without getting it. Also none of my uncles/aunts has it. that's the background...

the other day he was looking for cheese to make a sandwich. he went to the fridge and told my mom she didnt buy cheese. she said he did and he should look again. he said she didnt. it turnes out he was looking in the freezer instead of the fridge. I found it very very odd and cannot explain how he can make such mistake

our fridge is one of those when the fridge and the freezer are side by side rather than top and bottom so it's a little bit let odd. he said he was just tired (it was 10PM or so) and didnt pay attention. but i still find that mistake to be EXTREMELY odd.

i dont live at home so i dont talk to him or get to watch him day to day but my sisters and mom say he's completely fine and clear minded and they never noticed anything odd about him. the say he does forget things from time to time but that is just normal forgetfulness that everyone has (forgetting to take the trash, or to pick something up). they all think i am crazy to worry.

also, a couple of months ago i was home for 3 weeks and i spent a lot of time with him. i never noticed anything weird that got me to worry.

my questions are:
1. is this a symptom of alzheimers?
2. can something so bizarre be just an innocuous "brain fart"
3. how worried should i be? is my family right saying i am crazy?
Posted Sat, 21 Apr 2012 in Alzheimer's
Answered by Dr. Shiva Kumar R 7 hours later
Hello and Thanks for the query,

Regarding one episode of memory disturbance or may be also called as confusion, it is difficult for some one to say he has Alzheimer's disease (AD). Before one develops Alzheimer's there is a stage called Mild cognitive impairment (MCI). It is often found to be a transitional stage between normal aging and dementia. Although MCI can present with a variety of symptoms, when memory loss is the predominant symptom it is termed "amnestic MCI" and is frequently seen as a prodromal stage of Alzheimer's disease.

MCI is diagnosed when there is: Evidence of memory impairment, Preservation of general cognitive and functional abilities and absence of diagnosed dementia. Studies suggest that these individuals tend to progress to probable Alzheimer’s disease at a rate of approximately 10% to 15% per year. The diagnosis of MCI requires a comprehensive clinical assessment including clinical observation, neuroimaging, blood tests and neuropsychological testing are best in order to rule out an alternate diagnosis.

I really appreciate your effort in picking up this problem. You need to take him to a Neuropsychologist and Dementia expert after consulting your GP for a detail evaluation.

I thank you again for submitting your query. I hope my response was both helpful and adequate. If you have any additional questions I would be happy to address them.


Dr Shiva Kumar R
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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