Memory loss and dementia

Worried about memory loss

If you think you are becoming more forgetful, it might not be dementia.

There are many other causes of memory loss. It can be a symptom of:

  • stress
  • depression
  • urinary tract infection
  • physical illness
  • side-effect of some medication
  • vitamin deficiency

What you should do

If you are worried about your memory – or the memory of someone you know – you should make an appointment to see your GP.

Although you may feel scared or embarrassed talking about memory problems, seeing your GP can make all the difference. There are a number of treatable medical conditions that can cause memory problems, and it is important to rule these out as soon as possible.

GPs will not normally say the problem is dementia but they can provide simple memory tests, along with physical health checks for other possible causes of forgetfulness.

If other causes have been ruled out, the GP may make a referral to a specialist memory assessment service. The memory service will make a diagnosis or rule out dementia. They can also offer advice and support to you and your family.

Alzheimer's Society is the main organisation locally and nationally for advice about dementia.