Memory disorders are a category of cognitive impairments that can affect an individual’s ability to remember information. Prof. Eli Mizrahi, an expert in geriatrics and psychogeriatrics from the Faculty of Medicine at Tel Aviv University, explains that there are two types of memory disorders. The first type is a benign disorder known as ‘remembering’ disorder, where information is present in the brain but difficult to retrieve. This condition is common in older adults and around one or two percent of those who experience it may later develop dementia. The second type is Age Associated Memory Impairment (AAMI), which indicates a decrease in short-term memory and could lead to dementia or Alzheimer’s disease in 12% of cases.
Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are two different conditions, with dementia being a decline in mental capacity that affects daily functioning. Alzheimer’s disease affects higher functions initially and progresses to impairing basic actions as it advances.
President Joe Biden’s forgetfulness has raised concerns about his cognitive health. Prof. Mizrahi, who has specialized in neurology and Alzheimer’s disease, stated that it is not possible to assess Biden’s cognitive state based on press conferences alone. However, he suggested that confusion with names, especially related to important topics, raises concern and may warrant further investigation into day-to-day cognitive function.
Prof. Mizrahi emphasized the importance of consulting with Biden’s family members and staff to gain insight into his cognitive function beyond confusion with names. 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 encompass two different types of disorders – benign and mild – and can affect daily functioning. Prof. Mizrahi emphasized the importance of consulting with family members and staff when assessing an individual’s cognitive function beyond initial observations.