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Alzheimer's Disease

Delayed Memory

03/28/2008

Question:

I have been experiencing a type of memory problem. At times when I am driving, I all of a sudden forget where I am. I don`t know what direction I am supposed to go (even though I have a suspicion as to where to turn) or reconigize what is around me. But usually within 10 seconds or so I remember. It`s kind of strange and I am starting to get worried about it. I forget where I am and I don`t recognize what is around me, but within ten to fifteen seconds it comes back.

I have three young kids, don`t always sleep well, work full time as a teacher, and take medication for Myasthenia Gravis (just a background on me). Should I be concerned with this type of memory delay?

Answer:

The first step would be to discuss these symptoms with your doctors who know you well. They may look at medication effects or check for other causes for your symptoms. What you describe could be an issue with distractibility or day dreaming with your mind off on another topic and difficulties staying focused on your present mission.

Sleep deprivation, sleep apnea, depression or mood issues, medication effects, thyroid issues, being over extended, excess multi-tasking, or just too stressed out may all be reasons for these momentary lapses in focused attention to the task a hand. Since these episodes are intermittent and you are able to get back into sync after 10 to 15 seconds, these symptoms do not sound like a true memory issue.

For more information:

Go to the Alzheimer's Disease health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Douglas W Scharre, MD Douglas W Scharre, MD
Clinical Associate Professor of Neurology
Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University