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Worried about Dementia

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Hi. Have been worried I have early onset dementia.  I am 37.  I keep forgetting peoples names. People I interact with semi regularly I will forget their names and it wont come to me until maybe a couple of hours later.   Also I have trouble explaining myself and struggle to remember things I just studied.  My mind feels like a sieve.

I see ads on tv talking about dementia and I am now worried I have it.  My granny got it.  

I am scared I have so many things wrong with me lately.  HIV, skin cancer, diabetes are some of my current worries along with HOCD.

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I am diabetic and have had checks for skin cancer as well as had tests for dementia. So I believe in tests.

 The tests for dementia have a very low level pass statistic to pass as not having dementia. I had a discussion with my GP about this and  she agrees. Those with good tertiary education may be detected later because a lot of their cognitive work has become automatic and deep seated in the brain. She experiences this in her clinical practice. We need graded  dementia tests. But we do not have them.

The legitimate IQ tests have a different scoring system for those from early middle age to those of younger people. The speed of cognition does reduce. And the tests have a time limit in which to complete them

So test yourself in your cognitive abilities with intelligence tests,  aptitude tests, critical thinking tests and the UK standard dementia tests. Doing these tests in itself  is good cognitive exercise. A lot of dementia is of a vascular  nature so to keep the blood  flowing do exercises as well as cognitive exercises.


Edited by Angst

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Hi @Dave321, health anxiety is a pretty common category of OCD intrusive thoughts.  I have dealt with it myself including some of the ones you mention (diabetes, dementia, etc.) along with other areas.  Each time I could always find an example or two of evidence to "convince" me of my beliefs, and each time I struggled to also accept the evidence against.  I overestimated the value of some things and underestimated the value of others.  In short I was very very bad at self-diagnosis, as many if not all OCD sufferers are.

Human memory is not perfect, forgetting names, etc. is normal and not proof of early onset dementia.  The odds of you having anything seriously wrong in that area at your age is incredibly low.  Additionally stress can exacerbate these types of things, its harder to focus, harder to remember, etc. when you are stressed.  The mundane, most likely explanation for what you are experiencing is its totally normal and nothing to worry about (though OCD still makes us worry).  My recommendation is to do your best to set that worry aside, avoid compulsions related to it (rumination, researching, checking, testing, etc.) and give it some time to see if you are still worried, say a week or month.  At the most you could mention your concerns to your doctor and see what they recommend.  My guess is they are going to say your memory behavior is well within the normal range and to try and set your worry aside.  Maybe they would perform a basic test, but if/when they do and then tell you things look fine, you'll probably still worry.  At that point you should really do your best to not respond to the intrusive thought, checking again would just be a compulsion.

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Hi Dave,

I'm really sorry you are struggling with forgetting names and some memory issues.

Dementia at 37 is incredibly incredibly rare. There are some very very rare types of Frontotemporal Dementia that do present at 37 but unless you have a family history of very early onset dementia (if your Granny had it as a Granny then it's likely she didn't have it at an early age? and it might have been Vascular Dementia?) then it's unlikely to be that. 

Also anxiety can cause memory problems and health anxiety so that might well be what is going on here. 

If other people notice your memory problems or they seem to stick around then I agree with Dksea that it's a good idea to get checked out by your GP after a month or two.


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