What can I do if I’m worried about my memory?
See your doctor. If your doctor thinks your memory problems are serious, you may need to have a complete health check-up. The doctor will review your medicines and may test your blood and urine. You also may need to take tests that check your memory, problem solving, counting, and language skills.
In addition, the doctor may suggest a brain scan. Pictures from the scan can show normal and problem areas in the brain. Once the doctor finds out what is causing your memory problems, ask about the best treatment for you.
What can family members do to help?
If your family member or friend has a serious memory problem, you can help the person live as normal a life as possible. You can help the person stay active, go places, and keep up everyday routines. You can remind the person of the time of day, where he or she lives, and what is happening at home and in the world. You also can help the person remember to take medicine or visit the doctor.
Some families use the following things to help with memory problems:
- big calendars to highlight important dates and events
- lists of the plans for each day
- notes about safety in the home
written directions for using common household items
(most people with Alzheimer’s disease can still read)
Clinical trials and studies
People with Alzheimer’s disease, MCI, or a family history of Alzheimer’s may be able to take part in clinical trials, a type of research study. Healthy people with no memory problems and no family history of Alzheimer’s also may be able to take part in clinical trials.
Joining a clinical trial or other research study is a way to help fight Alzheimer’s disease. To find out more about clinical trials:
- Call the Alzheimer’s Disease Education and Referral (ADEAR) Center at 1-800-438-4380. It’s a free call.
- Visit the ADEAR Center website at www.nia.nih.gov/alzheimers/clinical-trials .
- Check out www.ClinicalTrials.gov .
- See NIH Clinical Research Trials and You at www.nih.gov/health/clinicaltrials .