Having Memory Problems? Don’t Do This!

Having Memory Problems Don’t Do This!

Here’s a common scenario: You’re having difficulty remembering conversations, forgetting where you put your reading glasses, or briefly getting lost driving in familiar areas. What do you do? If you’re like most people struggling with memory problems, you probably visit your primary care physician or a local neurologist.

It sounds like the logical thing to do, but here’s why it’s the wrong approach.

WHAT’S WRONG WITH THE OLD APPROACH TO MEMORY COMPLAINTS?

A traditional family doctor or neurologist will likely ask you a few questions, give you some short tests, orders an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), and tells you, “Everyone has memory problems with age. You’re normal.”  It’s also common for family members, friends and even medical professionals to downplay forgetfulness.

A week or so later, you meet again with your doctor, who says that the report on your MRI comes back as “mild, age-appropriate brain atrophy.” Your doctor tells you that you have “mild cognitive impairment” (MCI).  You’re reassured that it’s common, and you’ll likely retain your personality and long-term memory until later in the illness. You’re encouraged to get your affairs in order, given a prescription for Aricept (donepezil, a common memory medication that research shows has short-term benefits, but loses its effects after 18 months), and told to make a follow-up appointment in 6 months. 

Typically, there’s no discussion about common (and fixable) causes of forgetfulness, how to eliminate risk factors, or how to enhance memory through exercise, diet, supplementation, and memory training exercises.

That’s literally the extent of the work-up in 80-90% of the cases that eventually come to Amen Clinics from the traditional medical system. It’s completely ineffective, heartbreaking… and unconscionable given what we know now.

THE NEED FOR A NEW APPROACH TO MEMORY PROBLEMS

Until recently, healthcare professionals assessing the presence of memory problems in patients classified their cognitive functioning as: (1) normal with no symptoms; (2) mild impairment observed by patients or their families; or (3) Alzheimer’s disease, in which dementia was becoming significant and getting worse.

The National Institute on Aging announced a significant change in 2011. Based on new brain imaging data, they added a new “preclinical” level. As a result, the current staging guidelines are:

  1. normal
  2. preclinical: no obvious symptoms, but negative changes can be seen on brain scan
  3. mild cognitive impairment
  4. Alzheimer’s disease

Can you see the problem here? A growing body of research, including a 2014 study in Neuro-Degenerative Disorders, shows that long before symptoms develop, your brain may already be starting to deteriorate, years or even decades before there are any signs of trouble!

A UCLA study found that 95% of people with Alzheimer’s are not diagnosed until they are in the moderate to severe stages of the disorder. Yet the brain of a person diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease at age 59 likely started to show signs of deterioration by the time that person turned 30. 

No matter your age, memory symptoms should be taken seriously. Developing brain fog or feeling as if your memory is slipping when you are in your 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s or even 80s is common, but it’s not normal. It is a sign of impending doom. Ten years after you notice a problem (called subjective cognitive decline), there is an estimated 70-100% chance of your getting worse and slipping into dementia.

But while it is true that memory issues are common with age, they are not inevitable. In the “presymptomatic stage,” when memory problems are minor, help is likely to be most effective. If you’re struggling with your memory, even if it seems minor, now is the time to get serious about your brain’s health.

A BREAKTHROUGH CONCEPT: MEMORY RESCUE

After over 30 years of experience looking at the brain with SPECT imaging at Amen Clinics, together with the latest scientific research, it is clear that the traditional approach to memory problems is misguided and leads to unnecessary disease and disability.

Just as many tributaries feed a river that is about to flood and destroy a community, the physicians at Amen Clinics have discovered that there are many different causes of memory loss. It is no longer accurate to talk about mild cognitive impairment or Alzheimer’s disease as single entities, with single causes, just as Amen Clinics’ brain imaging work has shown it is no longer accurate to talk about a single type of depression, addiction, ADD/ADHD, or obesity.

The ability to identify and address each of the potential causes of memory problems allows for the development of a plan to prevent or even reverse these devastating issues.  

At Amen Clinics, we’re here for you. We have developed a comprehensive Memory Rescue program that combines cutting-edge brain imaging and other diagnostic tools with complete wrap-around services to get to the root of your memory problems and to develop a targeted treatment plan and follow-up care. Find out more by speaking to a specialist today at 888-288-9834. If all our specialists are busy helping others, you can also schedule a time to talk.

16 Comments

  1. SPECT scans are a great idea but distance and cost present a major problem for most
    patients who are interested in this procedure. Until more clinics or local hospitals incorporate
    this type of service it will continue to only be accessible to a very small number of people. I really think that SPECT scans are the best that medicine has to offer in diagnosing incipient
    dementia/Alzheimer’s

    Comment by Marc Pollock — August 28, 2020 @ 6:08 AM

  2. Some memory problems. Trouble concentrating

    Comment by Kathy Lance — August 28, 2020 @ 6:49 AM

  3. Hello,
    iˋd like to get informations from yourside whitch Clinic or physician works like you in Europe especially in the region of Switzerland.
    Thanks for an answer.

    Comment by Marc-Anton Lutz — August 28, 2020 @ 8:05 AM

  4. Is spect scan available in Pittsburgh?

    Comment by Joanne Litzinger — August 28, 2020 @ 10:50 AM

  5. I was on the phone and I was upset because I couldn’t find my phone
    My friend said for me to look in my hand. I was using the phone
    I forget dates and times. I forget conversations.

    Comment by Eleanor Kitlas — August 28, 2020 @ 11:42 AM

  6. Does Amen Clinics have tele-visits? I am a Psychotherapist & have an elder couple where the husband had a benign brain tumor/surgery. This caused some memory issues, and we are working thru anxiety. I wonder if a teleappt or two could render some things this couple could do to help? Supplements, food Rx, or other?

    Comment by Gina M Wendt-Blasing — August 28, 2020 @ 12:17 PM

  7. Not covered by insurance.
    Cost prohibitive for majority of people (except wealthier Orange County).
    Supplements more expensive than same ingredients in other high quality supplements purchased elsewhere online.

    Comment by Sharyn Manning — August 28, 2020 @ 12:28 PM

  8. Will the SPECT MRI from Mayo’s work as the first one you do?

    Comment by Glenda Williamson — August 28, 2020 @ 1:36 PM

  9. Last year I called one of your clinics to make an appointment. I was put off by how quickly the representative moved to get my payment information. I had questions and he made it clear that the money was what was most important to your company.

    Comment by Joel Pierson — August 29, 2020 @ 5:30 AM

  10. Could you text me a ballpark figure of the cost of a the SPECT scan.

    Comment by Judy Blair — August 29, 2020 @ 1:23 PM

  11. I experienced a loss of where I was and how I got there while driving with my brother and another time with my wife for about 5-10 seconds.
    I am 69 years old and my mother died with dimentia. Do I need your evaluation?

    Comment by Peter Bono — August 31, 2020 @ 8:40 AM

  12. Hello Peter, thank you for reaching out. We’d be happy to contact you directly with information about our consultations and evaluations. We look forward to speaking with you.

    Comment by Amen Clinics — September 1, 2020 @ 8:12 AM

  13. Hello Judy, thank you for reaching out. We’d be happy to contact you with the pricing of our consultations and evaluations.

    Comment by Amen Clinics — September 1, 2020 @ 8:17 AM

  14. Hello Gina, thank you for reaching out. Yes, we offer telehealth services: https://www.amenclinics.com/services/telehealth-and-video-therapy/. Please contact our Care Coordinators for more information: https://www.amenclinics.com/schedule-visit/.

    Comment by Amen Clinics — September 1, 2020 @ 8:27 AM

  15. Hello Joanne, thank you for reaching out. At this time, we have 8 locations: https://www.amenclinics.com/locations/.

    Comment by Amen Clinics — September 1, 2020 @ 8:27 AM

  16. Hello Marc-Anton, thank you for reaching out. Our Care Coordinators may be able to assist you with possible referral sources in Europe: https://www.amenclinics.com/schedule-visit/.

    Comment by Amen Clinics — September 1, 2020 @ 8:32 AM

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