Mild cognitive impairment (minor memory loss) can be something people worry about as they grow older.
From the age of 50 onwards, it's not uncommon to forget things. Sometimes this is nothing to worry about, just a symptom of busy lives, growing older and having too much on your mind, while at other times it's something that needs a bit more attention.
Alzheimer's disease disrupts connections in the brain, causing memories and functions to fade. Over time this puts long-term memory at risk and can impair the ability to do things independently.
Most experts agree that Alzheimer's disease dementia is related to a buildup of protein "plaques" and "tangles" in the brain.
Put very simply, if left to develop, these build-ups can hurt the neurons (the nerve cells in the brain) and as this damage progresses, your memory loss will worsen.
Often the first stages of this condition are forgetting small things (see our list of questions).
IF YOU ARE AT ALL CONCERNED, WE SUGGEST YOU TALK TO YOUR DOCTOR.
Currently available medications work at managing the symptoms of memory loss but do not necessarily slow the course of the disease.
That is why this on-going clinical research is so important.