Memory loss - clinical focus on practical neurology

These are excerpts from a review in the Medical Journal of Australia (MJA):

Older people with mild cognitive impairment are at increased risk of progressing to dementia, but no tests are helpful in assessing this risk. Medications are not beneficial in mild cognitive impairment.

Physical activity and treatment of hypertension decrease the risk of dementia.

In people with Alzheimer’s disease, a cholinesterase inhibitor or memantine (an N-methyl- D-aspartate receptor antagonist) provides symptomatic relief. Medications do not change progression of the illness.

Behavioural and psychological symptoms are common in Alzheimer’s disease.

Atypical antipsychotics reduce agitation and psychosis but increase the risk of cardiovascular events.

Antidepressant role in managing depression with mild cognitive impairment is uncertain but they may increase the risk of delirium and falls.


Memory loss. Leon A Flicker, Andrew H Ford, Christopher D Beer and Osvaldo P Almeida. Med J Aust 2012; 196 (2): 114-117.

Image source: Hippocampus, from Wikipedia, public domain.

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