Quiz: Minor Memory Lapse … or Something More?

Alzheimer’s disease may be the most dreaded condition when we think of living a long life, but minor memory lapses or occasional confusion or disorientation don’t always signal the worst-case scenario. Wondering what else can cause such symptoms? Take our quiz to find out.
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Causes for memory lapses

1. Mental decline, serious enough to interfere with daily life, is a normal part of aging.

a) True

b) False

2. Dementia and Alzheimer’s are:

a) Two different diseases

b) Different names for the same disease

c) May or may not be the same disease

3. Memory lapses may be:

a) The result of a minor head injury

b) A drug side effect

c) Due to a nutritional deficiency

d) A symptom of stress

e) Due to sleep apnea

f) One or more of the above

4. One reason why alcoholism can cause disorientation and memory loss is because it depletes which vitamin?

a) Vitamin A

b) Vitamin B

c) Vitamin B

d) Vitamin B

5. A deficiency of which essential vitamin may be a cause of confusion, disorientation, and memory problems?

a) Vitamin A

b) Vitamin B

c) Vitamin B

d) Vitamin C

e) Vitamin E

f) A combination of the above

6. Which of these can cause symptoms that mimic dementia?

a) An underactive thyroid

b) An overactive thyroid

c) Either one

7. Which of these oils may reduce amyloid plaques in the brain, a sign of Alzheimer’s disease?

a) Canola oil

b) Safflower oil

c) Cottonseed oil

d) Olive oil

8. Many Alzheimer’s patients have experienced improvement with coconut oil or an extract of a type of fat found in coconut oil. What type of fat is it?

a) Short chain triglycerides

b) Medium chain triglycerides

c) Long chain triglycerides

Did you know?

Drinking black, green, or oolong tea halves the risk for Alzheimer’s, even among people who are genetically predisposed to the disease, according to a study of 957 older adults with an average age of 65. The study, published in the Journal of Nutrition, also found that tea drinkers with the APOE4 gene, the marker for high Alzheimer’s risk, were less likely to develop the disease than people without the gene who didn’t drink tea.

Quiz Answers

1. b) Serious mental decline is not a normal part of aging.

2. c) Dementia is not, medically speaking, a disease, but an umbrella term that describes a loss of mental abilities, such as memory, to a degree that interferes with daily life, along with physical changes in the brain. Between 60 and 80 percent of dementia in the U.S. is Alzheimer’s disease, but dementia may also be a sign of other conditions.

3. f) Any one of these, or a combination, can lead to memory lapses, and it’s important to identify the underlying trigger.

4. b) Alcoholism depletes vitamin B, also called thiamine.

5. c) Lack of vitamin B can cause dementia-like symptoms. B levels can be tested by a doctor.

6. c) An underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) is the more common of these two conditions, but an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism) can also cause dementia-like symptoms.

7. d) Extra virgin olive oil reduced amyloid plaques in animal brains in research at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University in Philadelphia.

8. b) Coconut oil is rich in medium chain triglycerides (MCT for short), so-called because of its chemical structure. Both coconut and MCT oils can be taken as supplements or eaten as an oil on salads or other foods.

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