Memory disorders can be broken down into two different types, explains Prof. Eli Mizrahi, an expert in geriatrics and psychogeriatrics from the Faculty of Medicine at Tel Aviv University. The first type is a benign disorder known as “remembering” disorder, where information is present in the brain but difficult to retrieve. This type of disorder becomes more common as people age and approximately one or two percent of those who experience this may later develop dementia. The second type is a mild memory disorder called Age Associated Memory Impairment (AAMI), which involves a decrease in short-term memory and could potentially lead to dementia or Alzheimer’s in 12% of cases.
Prof. Mizrahi explains the difference between dementia and Alzheimer’s, stating that dementia is a decline in mental capacity that affects daily functioning. He notes that dementia due to Alzheimer’s disease initially affects higher functions but can progress to impair basic actions as it advances.
There have been concerns raised about President Joe Biden’s forgetfulness and whether it indicates a cognitive problem. Prof. Mizrahi, who has specialized in neurology and Alzheimer’s, stated that it is not possible to assess Biden’s cognitive state based solely on press conferences alone. However, he suggests that confusion with names, especially related to important topics, raises concern and may warrant further investigation into his day-to-day cognitive function.
Prof. Mizrahi emphasizes the importance of consulting with Biden’s family members and staff to gain insight into his cognitive function beyond confusion with names. He suggests that signs of cognitive decline in daily activities and interactions would be important to consider in an assessment of his cognitive state.
In conclusion, memory disorders come in two forms: benign “remembering” disorders and mild AAMI disorders that can potentially lead to more serious conditions such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Prof. Mizrahi encourages individuals experiencing memory problems to seek medical attention for proper diagnosis and treatment options available for each type of disorder.
In the case of President Joe Biden’s forgetfulness, Prof. Mizrahi recommends further investigation into his daily cognitive function through consultation with family members and staff rather than solely relying on press conferences for assessment purposes.