Which Memory Goes First In Alzheimer’s?
The first memory affected by Alzheimer’s is the episodic memory. The human brain is an elaborate communication system containing an estimated 100 billion neurons. This system is responsible for vital body functions like thinking, seeing, moving, talking, memory and experiencing emotions.
What Is The Episodic Memory?
This is the temporal lobe containing the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex. Episodic memory allows a person to learn new information and remember recent events. With Alzheimer’s, the hippocampus is the first brain structure to be damaged. This explains where the early onset symptom of Alzheimer’s involves a lot of difficulty remembering recent events and a little difficulty in remembering events from long ago.
The other forms of memory affected by Alzheimer’s include:
- Semantic memory: this is the memory that governs general knowledge and facts such as recognition, names and categorizing objects. Alzheimer’s patients are unable to name a common object or list objects in a category
- Procedural memory: it is the memory that enables people to learn skills that eventually become automatic or unconscious like typing. procedural memory is one of the last cognitive domains to deteriorate in Alzheimer’s patients
- Working memory: this is the memory that governs attention, concentration and short-term retention of important information like street addresses, phone numbers etc. Alzheimer’s affects the working memory as well
Generally, Alzheimer’s causes severe damage and ultimately affects lager regions of the brain beginning with the hippocampus and episodic memory and moving on to the other forms of memory.