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Let’s Talk About Memory – Navigating Memory Loss, Alzheimer’s, and Dementia

July 9, 2021

We all know that having COVID-19 can come with severe symptoms and side effects. But one side effect that we are paying close attention to at Grady is memory loss. Studies continue to show that you can experience brain fog or memory loss due to the virus. At Grady’s Marcus Stroke and Neuroscience Center, we are doing all we can to take care of patients suffering from post-COVID memory issues. We are also caring for those trying to figure out if they have dementia or Alzheimer’s. Here’s what we want you to know about navigating memory loss.

No Need for Fear 

Let’s start with the most important thing to remember: you don’t have to be afraid.

“You can still have control over your life and maintain independence,” says Grady memory expert Dr. Angela Ashley. “We’re here to help you find ways to cope and take the fear out of Alzheimer’s.”

While Alzheimer’s is a chronic illness, it does not have to be the end of you living your life. Between medication options and our team providing the education and support you or your loved one needs, you are in good hands with us.

But, How Did I Get Here? 

Causes of memory loss vary and, many areas of our health impact them. Experts in our dedicated memory clinic like Dr. Antoine Trammell advise you to schedule checkups with your healthcare providers.

“An ideal approach involves a comprehensive view of tending to your health,” said Dr. Trammell. “Getting plugged into the healthcare system early and regularly is critical.”

Everything we do can impact our brain, including our ability to maintain our memory.

“We don’t always think about how the things we do affect our brains, but a lot of what we do does,” said Dr. Trammell. “How you feel, your sleep, how active you are, and what you eat can all have an impact.”

There Are Things We Can Do to Help 

It’s never too soon to talk to your primary care doctor if you are concerned about your memory, and the sooner you take that first step, the sooner we can take preventative measures to save it.

We use a robust testing method called the Montreal Cognitive Assessment to help diagnose memory issues and address any underlying cognition concerns. This assessment helps us determine the best and most effective way to move forward with your treatment.

Maintaining an active lifestyle and having a balanced diet can also help decrease your risk factors for Alzheimer’s and dementia.

If You’re Unsure 

Even if you aren’t sure if you have memory issues, never hesitate to visit us so you and your loved ones can have peace of mind. Any changes in completing daily tasks are reasons to schedule an appointment with us. It also helps to have family attend the appointment with you or your loved one. Their input can provide a better understanding of everyday life and behaviors.

Always remember that there is hope. We have come a long way in diagnosing and treating memory illnesses. Recent advancements in testing and imaging allow us to better detect scars on the brain and protein changes that could point to signs of your memory changing. And, as a longstanding part of this community, we have also developed strong relationships with vital groups like the Atlanta Area Agency on Aging and Georgia Memory Network to connect patients and loved ones with community resources.

We want to arm you with all the resources, education, and tools you and your family need to ease your worry and tackle this head-on. Talk to your primary care provider about your concerns and ask about a referral to Grady’s Memory Center. To get started, call (404) 616-1000.