What Are Memory Loss and Dementia?

It’s natural to be forgetful sometimes. But some older adults experience forgetfulness that does not go away. Memory loss is abnormal forgetfulness that affects some older adults. It is one symptom of dementia, which also includes difficulties with thinking and reasoning. Symptoms may worsen over time, making it difficult for people to remain independent. This problem, which may occur as the result of a lingering depression or vascular disease or neurodegenerative dementia, can make once-simple tasks difficult. 

Memory loss and dementia can affect your loved one’s personality or ability to follow simple directions. Your loved one might not recognize familiar places, lose track of time, or neglect important relationships.  

Aging and Mood Disorders

Some older adults also develop depression and other mood disorders or abnormal thinking. These conditions may affect one’s memory, but also impact other important everyday functions. Our services help your loved one live a good quality of life.

Memory Loss and Dementia Services 

Crystal Watkins, MD, PhD, is the lead provider of memory loss and geriatric psychiatric services at the Neuropsychiatry Program. Our offerings can help treat problems that can be cured such as mood disorders or slow the progression of symptoms caused by vascular or degenerative disease and lessen their impact on your loved one’s life. We offer a family approach to care that includes information and support so you worry less about your loved one’s well-being and enjoy spending time together.

Causes of Memory Loss and Dementia

We perform a specialized evaluation to get to know your loved one as a person and rule out medical causes of their symptoms. These problems may include severe depression, neurodegenerative disease such as Alzheimer’s, thyroid problems, or vitamin deficiencies. Find out more about neuropsychiatric evaluations.

We commonly care for people with memory loss that stems from:

  • Bipolar disorder and other mood disorders
  • Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia
  • Small-artery atherosclerotic disease of the brain (blockage of small arteries)
  • Thyroid disease
  • Vitamin deficiencies

Care for Memory Loss and Dementia 

Our care for people with memory loss and dementia includes:

  • Neuropsychiatric evaluations: Our neuropsychiatrists have highly specialized training and years of experience, giving us the specialized knowledge needed to make an accurate diagnosis. 
  • Personalized treatment plan: We recommend a combination of treatments to help your loved one live the best quality of life. This plan may include cognitive behavioral therapy and coordination with local nursing homes and assisted living centers. Find out more about neuropsychiatric treatments.

Contact Us

For more information about our neuropsychiatry services, or to make an appointment, call us at 410-938-4981. 

Learn more about preparing for your neuropsychiatry appointment.