According to Prof. Eli Mizrahi, an expert in geriatrics and psychogeriatrics from the Faculty of Medicine at Tel Aviv University, memory disorders can be classified into two different types. The first type is a benign disorder known as a ‘remembering’ disorder where information is present in the brain but difficult to retrieve. This condition is common in older people and may lead to dementia in around one or two percent of cases. The second type is Age Associated Memory Impairment (AAMI), which indicates a decrease in short-term memory and could progress to dementia or Alzheimer’s disease in 12% of cases.
Prof. Mizrahi explains that dementia and Alzheimer’s are two distinct conditions. Dementia refers to a decline in mental capacity that affects daily functioning, while Alzheimer’s disease specifically affects higher cognitive functions initially and progresses to impair basic actions as it advances.
There have been concerns raised about President Joe Biden’s forgetfulness, with some questioning whether it indicates a cognitive problem. Prof. Mizrahi, who has specialized in neurology and Alzheimer’s disease, stated that it is not possible to assess Biden’s cognitive state based on press conferences alone. However, he suggested that confusion with names, especially related to important topics, raises concern and may warrant further investigation into his day-to-day cognitive function.
Prof. Mizrahi emphasized the importance of consulting with Biden’s family members and staff to gain insight into his cognitive function beyond confusion with names. He suggested that signs of cognitive decline in daily activities and interactions would be important to consider in an assessment of his cognitive state.
In conclusion, memory disorders come in two different forms: benign disorders like remembering disorder and mild memory disorders like Age Associated Memory Impairment (AAMI). Dementia is a decline in mental capacity affecting daily functioning while Alzheimer’s disease specifically affects higher functions initially before progressing to impair basic actions as it advances. Concerns have been raised about President Joe Biden’s forgetfulness but Prof Mizrahi suggests that further investigation into his day-to-day cognitive function should be conducted by consulting with his family members and staff beyond confusion with names.