How We Can Help
Memory Loss Treatment Information
IU Health Geriatrics physicians offer specialized care for you and your family to determine the cause and best treatment for memory loss. Your first appointment will likely be three hours long to ensure you receive focused, individualized attention and access to the following services:
- Laboratory testing. Some memory loss may be caused by nutrient deficiencies or other problems. Our physicians take blood samples and run tests to ensure that these issues are not affecting your mind. Vitamins and nutrients like niacin, vitamin B-12 and vitamin D impact brain function, including memory. As you age, you may lose the ability to properly absorb and process these nutrients, leading to nutrient deficiencies. If you do have a deficiency, diet and vitamin supplements may help correct memory loss. Other conditions such as hypothyroidism can affect your memory. Women over the age of 60 are at the highest risk of developing this condition and experiencing difficulty concentrating or remembering.
- Mental exam. To determine the extent of memory loss and loss of other cognitive functions, we perform a mental exam. During this exam, you and your family are asked a variety of questions about your day-to-day life. If you are increasingly unable to perform tasks such as paying bills, cooking or other daily activities, you may be experiencing dementia. Understanding how your mental health has changed gives us a better idea of what may have caused the loss of function.
- Social history. A social history allows our physicians to know more about you and your family and build a stronger relationship with you. Aspects of your life, such as if you are retired, live alone or have an ill spouse, may all affect your mental health. After a social history, we may also be able to suggest lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise to increase brain function and slow the progress of conditions that cause memory loss.
- Depression scale. In older adults, depression can cause loss of cognitive functions such as memory. Our physicians ask you questions to determine if you have depression. You should answer these questions honestly to ensure an accurate diagnosis and the proper treatment. If you do suffer from depression, antidepressants may improve your mood and memory. Cognitive behavioral therapy and support groups can also benefit your mental health.
- Medicines. If memory loss is a result of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, some medicines may slow the progression of memory loss. However, no medicine exists to cure the conditions. Because these medicines often have side effects, our physicians start you with the lowest dose and monitor you for improvement. Over time, the type of medicine and the dose you take may change. If you have depression, our physicians work with you to find a medicine that improves your mood and memory without causing harmful side effects.
- Referral to specialists. Several IU Health specialists play a role in caring for your memory loss. Your IU Health geriatrician will coordinate your care to ensure it is consistent and right for you. IU Health Neurology physicians use imaging techniques such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computerized tomography (CT) scans to look at brain function. They are experts in using this technology to diagnose dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. If you have depression, we also refer you to support groups or therapists to improve your emotional health and, ultimately, increase your brain function.
Memory Loss Locations & Physicians
Use the search options below to find treatments available in your area.
Find a Specialist
Enter a Zip Code to find a specialist at IU Health.
Memory Loss Support Services
Memory loss causes stress and anxiety for both patients and caregivers. Learn more about caring for patients with memory loss at the websites below.
A Sampling of Memory Loss Support Services
IU Health Neurology & Neurosurgery
We offer advanced diagnosis and management of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia through our nationally ranked Neuroscience services.
The National Institutes of Health online medical library provides easy-to-understand information on memory and memory loss.
National Institute on Aging
The National Institute on Aging can help you understand when forgetfulness is normal or a sign of other conditions, causes of memory problems and how to treat memory problems.
This website explores dementia, its diagnosis and treatment.