Holiday gatherings provide families the opportunity to notice changes in their loved ones. A common observation is that a family member appears depressed or more forgetful than they used to be. Medical Care Corporation, the leader in cognitive assessment technologies, offers eight facts about memory loss, dementia and depression to help clarify what might be causing any noticeable changes.

  1. Memory Loss and Dementia can be caused by many conditions including depression.
  2. Short-term memory loss and the inability to store newly learned information are the first symptoms of Alzheimer's disease.
  3. A diagnosis of major depressive disorders requires that patients must experience persistence in their depression-related symptoms for at least a few weeks.
  4. Depression can be a consequence or cause of dementia; the presence of depression does not exclude a coexisting memory disorder.
  5. Memory loss due to Alzheimer's disease is characterized by impaired ability to store newly learned information.
  6. Individuals with memory loss due to Depression are able to at least partially store newly learned information, but have impaired ability to retrieve it after a few minutes delay. However, when provided cues, they are generally able to recall recently learned information.
  7. Alzheimer's patients are often unaware of at least some of their deficits and will frequently say they do not have a problem or will overestimate their abilities.
  8. Persons with Depression are commonly very aware of their deficits and will often underestimate their abilities.
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