Early Signs of Memory Issues

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Interviewer: Doctor, what are some of the early signs of cognitive function
issues? You mentioned earlier we all forget where we put our keys. Those
sort of things happen, but what are some of the warning signs to look for.

Dr. Guosong Liu: So, there are actually two types of warning signs because
the brain has two pieces of... almost like a two functional system. So one
functional system is really focused primarily for memory, like the memory
functions. So there is a part of the brain focused on the short-term memory
and the long-term memory.

Then there is another system actually focused on working memory. It's
really about this conversation, not about remember this conversation it's
about whether or you can carry out this conversation. Suppose you ask me
three questions, you know, when you're getting old you'll say what is the
last question again? That happens to almost everyone.

So that is working memory problem and that actually declines fairly early.
When you get to 60 and you sometimes forgot where you parked your car. So
the location, the spatial memory, which is really one of the early signs of
Alzheimer's disease and memory problems, it's actually when you go to a
complex place and you cannot get out. So that is a sign of your memory is
[inaudible: 00:01:20] because the very complex environment itself requires
you to remember the reference point. It's like when you go to a maze.

Interviewer: Mm-hmm.

Dr. Liu: How do you get out of the maze?

Interviewer: Mm-hmm.

We all have memory lapses, but what are the warning signs that something more serious might be happening? Dr. Guosong Liu discusses some things that might be red flags of deeper memory issues.

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