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 categories: a benign disorder known as “remembering” disorder and Age Associated Memory Impairment (AAMI), which is a mild memory disorder that affects short-term memory and could lead to dementia or Alzheimer’s in 12% of cases.
Prof. Mizrahi explained that dementia is a decline in mental capacity that affects day-to-day functioning, while Alzheimer’s disease affects higher functions initially before progressing to impair basic actions as it advances. Despite concerns about President Joe Biden’s forgetfulness, Prof. Mizrahi emphasized that it is not possible to assess his 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.
To gain insight into Biden’s cognitive function, Prof. Mizrahi recommended consulting with his family members and staff beyond just observing his confusion with names. Signs of cognitive decline in daily activities and interactions would be important to consider in an assessment of his cognitive state.
Prof. Mizrahi also described the difference between dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, explaining that dementia is a broad term that includes various types of brain damage affecting mental function. Alzheimer’s disease is one type of dementia characterized by abnormal protein deposits called plaques and tangles in the brain, which can lead to progressive memory loss and cognitive decline over time.
Overall, Prof. Mizrahi emphasized the importance of understanding the difference between these conditions when assessing someone’s cognitive state and recommended consulting with healthcare professionals for accurate diagnosis and treatment options.