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Short term memory loss, family history of dementia, had mental health problems, bipolar disorder, suicidal tendency

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Neurologist
Practicing since : 2001
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I am suffering from short term memory loss that has gradually got worse over the years. It is affecting my daily life to the point were I make mistakes at work. Forget conversations, have to repeatedly ask the same question again and again. There is a history of Dementia in the family Great Grandmother, Grandmother and Uncle o my mothers side. My fathers mother was sent into a psychiatric unit 3 times but the living family do not seem to know why. Can my memory loss be a cause of Dementia?
Posted Sun, 22 Apr 2012 in Alzheimer's
Follow-up: Short term memory loss, family history of dementia, had mental health problems, bipolar disorder, suicidal tendency 1 hour later
I forgot to tell you that I am 56 years old. I have a history of mental health problems including Bipolar and have tried to take my own life 3 times. I have been seen by a psychiatrist and have been told the 2 issues are unrelated the Memory Loss has nothing to do with the Bipolar. This is not a question just additional information.
 
 
Answered by Dr. Shiva Kumar R 10 hours later
Hello,

Thanks for your query.

I appreciate your efforts for medical consultation in so much distress.

Important aspects of your query are:
• Short term memory loss
• Family history of dementia
• History of psychiatric illness in the family
Bipolar disorder in you

I would like to consider multiple possibilities in following hierarchy:

Pseudodementia - Pseudodementia is the syndrome in which dementia is mimicked or caricatured by functional psychiatric disorders. Past history of BPAD (Bipolar active disorder) is a point in favor of pseudodementia. Memory testing in detail will differentiate between true dementia and pseudodementia.
• Vitamin deficiency: can sometimes cause memory problems, psychiatric issues and peripheral neuropathy.
Thyroid problems can also cause memory disturbances
• Lastly I would like to consider Alzheimer's disease in view of the positive family history.

I personally feel you need couple of blood tests like Vit B12, Thyroid profile, Detailed Neuropsychology evaluation by clinical psychologist which can differentiate between true and pseudodementia. If it suggests true memory loss then you require further evaluation by Dementia specialist for MRI (Magnetic Resonant Imaging) and PET (Positron Emission Test) scan. If it is suggestive of pseudodementia no tests are required in you.

I am sorry you are dealing with this frustrating concern. The bottom line is that you need to arrange an appointment with your psychologist to solve the issue and proceed further based on the results.

I hope this information has been both informative and helpful for you. In case of any doubt, I will be available for follow ups.

Wish you good health.

Regards,

Dr Shiva Kumar R
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Short term memory loss, family history of dementia, had mental health problems, bipolar disorder, suicidal tendency 7 hours later
Thank you for the information. I have already undergone tests that imply it is Short Term Memory Loss. I am due to see Psychiatrist at a Memory Clinic and a MRI Scan has already been arranged.

So I guess my question still stands, can short term Memory Loss be a sign of Dementia that can be inherited?

Thanks XXXXXXX
 
 
Answered by Dr. Shiva Kumar R 17 hours later
Hello and thanks for getting back to me

Short term memory loss is a sign of dementia.

In view of the positive family history, I think it is most likely an inherited problem. Most common inherited dementia is Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Fronto-temporal dementias (FTD). FTD has more of psychiatric symptoms followed by memory loss where as AD has predominant memory symptoms.

I hope this information has been both informative and helpful for you. Please accept my answer in case you do not have further queries.

Wish you Good Health.

Regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
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