How Doctors Investigate Memory Loss
Are you concerned about memory loss for yourself or someone else?
A notable New York Times article warns that it’s “one thing to forget where you left your car keys, but it could be something more serious if you don’t know what the keys are for or how to use them.”
Everyone forgets things. But when memory loss is part of a medical condition, it’s called dementia. Dementia is a general term for brain conditions and diseases that can cause a slow but progressive decline in cognitive abilities. The most common cause of dementia conditions is the loss of brain volume due to atrophy of brain cells, which physicians call neurodegeneration. Researchers have identified brain volume loss in Alzheimer’s disease, frontotemporal dementia (Pick’s disease), Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and dementia with Lewy bodies.
However, other conditions can imitate the symptoms of dementia and can be present along with neurodegenerative dementia. This can make diagnosis more difficult. Some examples of more treatable causes are:
- Vascular dementia (from blocked or reduced blood flow to the brain)
- Metabolic conditions (i.e., hypothyroidism, vitamin B12 deficiency, and Addison’s disease)
- Toxicity caused by the use of drugs or alcohol
- Infections of the brain (i.e., Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, HIV, and neurosyphilis)
- Hydrocephalus (an accumulation of cerebral spinal fluid in the brain)
- Brain tumors and cancers of the central nervous system
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
Nonetheless, Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia with roughly 70% of all dementia cases. The majority of patients with Alzheimer’s are older than 65 years, but up to 5% of people are diagnosed in their 40s to 50s.
3T MRI Exam + NeuroQuant Analysis for Memory Loss
Primary care doctors frequently encounter men and women under 65 years of age that have mild memory and cognitive difficulty, raising the question of (EOAD) Early Onset Alzheimer’s Disease. Using 3T MRI, we can identify biomarkers that present before actual symptoms.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) can be used to confirm suspected neurodegeneration, such as Alzheimer’s, and can help to rule out other conditions. An MRI provides visualization of the brain structures to help in the evaluation of neurodegeneration.
NeuroQuant® is a breakthrough technology for patients who are concerned about Alzheimer’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, and Seizure Disorders. NeuroQuant® is not offered at East Jefferson, Ochsner, Touro, West Jefferson, LSU or Tulane Hospitals.
Why Choose Doctors Imaging for Your MRI?
Doctors Imaging was the first facility to bring 3T MRI to New Orleans. Our exams and analysis provide vital information to neurologists, neuropsychiatrists, and neuro-psychologists, allowing them to have objective anatomic correlations for patients suffering from random onset memory loss, cognitive, emotional, and executive dysfunction.
If you have concerns regarding memory loss or wish to schedule an appointment, just call 504-883-8111 or fill out the Request Appointment form.