Family Medicine

67 year old male presenting with memory loss

Cassandra Betts on Jan 16, 2014

MB is a 67-year-old white man brought to clinic by his daughter with increasing concerns of memory loss. She notes that over the past nine months, her father has seemed to lose his place in conversation, seemed listless, and required questions to be repeated to him. She also notes that he spends increasing amounts of time playing spider solitaire on his computer and less time reading books, which had formerly been his pastime.

The patient himself claims that everything is fine, although he has noticed some word-finding difficulty and increasing anxiety. He finds himself driving less, given concerns for getting lost and consequently he feels helpless and guilty for being a burden on his family. His family history is notable for presumptive Alzheimer’s dementia in his mother which onset in her mid-sixties, which also worries him.

What other things would you like to know about in your history?

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Dietary changes or substance ingestions
Good idea, vitamin deficiency is a cause of reversible dementia. What's more, substance abuse could be contributing to memory loss.


New medications
Good idea, polypharmacy can be a cause of confusion, especially in the elderly.


Family history of neurologic or psychiatric illness
Good idea, a strong family history may point to a greater propensity for development of dementia or other neurological disorders in our patient. Note that he has already mentioned dementia in his mother.


History of falls, head trauma
Sure, this is important too, also to get an idea of our patient’s functional status at home.


MB is a 67-year-old white man brought to clinic by his daughter with increasing concerns of memory loss. She notes that over the past nine months, her father has seemed to lose his place in conversation, seemed listless, and required questions to be repeated to him. She also notes that he spends increasing amounts of time playing spider solitaire on his computer and less time reading books, which had formerly been his pastime.

The patient himself claims that everything is fine, although he has noticed some word-finding difficulty and increasing anxiety. He finds himself driving less, given concerns for getting lost and consequently he feels helpless and guilty for being a burden on his family. His family history is notable for presumptive Alzheimer’s dementia in his mother which onset in her mid-sixties, which also worries him.

What other things would you like to know about in your history?

Select all that apply
Expand all answers
Dietary changes or substance ingestions
Good idea, vitamin deficiency is a cause of reversible dementia. What's more, substance abuse could be contributing to memory loss.


New medications
Good idea, polypharmacy can be a cause of confusion, especially in the elderly.


Family history of neurologic or psychiatric illness
Good idea, a strong family history may point to a greater propensity for development of dementia or other neurological disorders in our patient. Note that he has already mentioned dementia in his mother.


History of falls, head trauma
Sure, this is important too, also to get an idea of our patient’s functional status at home.


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