One in four of people will be diagnosed with dementia in our lifetime. We all worry about it, but could losing your mind be all in your head? Your forgetfulness could be completely treatable!
"You're in a go. It's like you can't even think." says Carolyn Conley.
"I couldn't do anything." says 90 year old Irene White.
Two women, different stages of life, same fear!
"I started experiencing memory lapses, a really odd feeling." says Conley
But these women are not losing their minds. After years of suffering, Carolyn Conley found out the opening at the base of her skull was not big enough, and put pressure on her brain stem. Surgery corrected it, but for millions of others, no surgery is needed for the solution.
"Many of us complain about middle aged pauses or senior moments." says PhD Gary Smalls, Geriatric Psychiatrist at U.C.L.A.'s Center on Aging in Los Angeles.
Dr. Smalls says many women suffer from Pseudo Dementia and don't know it.
"You may be stressed out, you may be fatigued, it could be anxiety." says Dr. Smalls
Internist Mildred McAffey says clinical depression is often confused with dementia.
"It can be mistaken for dementia. I had this one patient who thought she had dementia. As it turns out, once we started her on the anti-depressant, her memory significantly improved."
Anemia, Thyroid Disorders, Malnutrition, Alcoholism and Vitamin D and B deficiencies can also cause memory loss.
"It turned out it was vitamin B12 deficiency." says White.
"I absolutely feel like a new person." says Conley.
Signs that your memory loss may be Dementia include asking the same questions repeatedly, becoming lost in familiar places and being unable to follow directions. Unlike Pseudo Dementia, Dementia is not curable; for these women, that was not the case.