SIMPLE MEMORY LAPSE OR SERIOUS MEMORY LOSS? UNT Health Science CenterA€AsAMs Memory Clinic Can Help Tell the Difference

March 6, 2001

FORT WORTH, Texasâ?? If you or a loved one is starting to struggle with routine tasks that were previously handled with ease, the problem may be due to more than simple forgetfulness.

Memory loss can be linked to a variety of causes, including certain medications, tumors, diabetes, stroke, depression, vision or hearing loss, cardiac or pulmonary complications, vitamin deficiencies, Alzheimerâ??s disease, or simple stress, according to specialists at the University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth.

“People joke about losing their keys, but after awhile, itâ??s not funny anymore,” said Susan F. Franks, Ph.D., clinical neuropsychologist with UNT Health Science Center. “If you have a family member who has been diagnosed with dementia or if youâ??ve noticed changes in your own memory, an evaluation is in order. If youâ??re concerned, you should do this for yourself and do it for your family.”

Dr. Franks recommends that people be on the alert for signs of memory loss, including:

  • Forgetting recent events, conversations, and names of friends or relatives
  • Misplacing possessions
  • Repeating questions or stumbling for words
  • Getting lost in familiar surroundings
  • Finding difficulty performing chores or using appliances and tools
  • Struggling to manage money or other financial matters
  • Experiencing changes in mood and/or personality

The UNT Health Science Center has opened a Memory Clinic for those concerned about their memory but who havenâ??t been diagnosed with dementia. The clinic is the only one of its kind in North Texas for the general public.

Memory Clinic patients undergo a thorough assessment to learn if their memory problems are due to normal changes that occur with aging, treatable physical causes or chronic changes in brain function. They can choose for a report of this assessment to be sent to their doctor. The cost for the assessment may not be covered by insurance.

Patients of the Memory Clinic will be seen in the new Patient Care Center on the UNT Health Science Center campus in Fort Worthâ??s Cultural District. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call Barbara Harty, R.N., at 817-735-2193. No physician referral is necessary.

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