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Memory Loss

Alarmist scenario: Early-onset Alzheimer’s disease.

More likely cause: Fatigue, stress, or depression; certain medications, including antidepressants and sedatives; or chronic multitasking.

Reality check: “Fewer than 5 percent of people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease are under 65,” says geriatrician Laurel Coleman, a spokesperson for the Alzheimer’s Association. The rare early-onset variation has a strong genetic link. Memory loss that’s a cause for concern affects job performance, makes day-to-day tasks difficult, diminishes language skills, and causes changes in mood or behavior.

Rx: Coleman recommends getting seven to eight hours of uninterrupted sleep a night, taking steps to reduce stress, and considering whether you might suffer from depression. If you’re taking medications, ask your doctor if they could be impairing your memory.

(Photo: Jen Corace)

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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