Memory and Aging
© 2010 Rhonda Freeman, PhD
Cognitive processes change across the lifespan. It is true that memory, processing speed, and executive functions can decline to some extent as one ages. At times, such subtle changes can make it difficult to determine if the experience of memory problems is “normal” or not.
When cognitive changes interfere with normal functioning, demonstrate consistency, and/or represent a significant decline from your typical status, this may be an indication of a cognitive disorder rather than normal aging.
An evaluation of memory, within the context of a neuropsychological evaluation, will delineate the presence of a memory disorder, dementia process, or normal aging. The neuropsychological evaluation can answer not only questions regarding the presence, type, or absence of a dementia disorder, but also address functional issues as well, such as the safety for continued independent living.
Research has found that the better outcomes are associated with early diagnosis and intervention. If you or your loved one demonstrates changes in cognition, behavior, mood, or personality, an evaluation should be considered.
© 2010 Dr. Rhonda Freeman