Catching Memory Loss in its Early Stages

Is it normal forgetfulness, or is it something more serious? Shawn Morlock of The St. Alexius Technology Center in Bismarck is helping people find out.

(Shawn Morlock, St. Alexius Medical Center):  "You could have an average memory or very low memory or low so depending on how you score."

(Reporter):  Doctors say some memory loss is normal as we age, but they also know that 24 million people worldwide live with dementia and the number is growing. So it pays to be vigilant.

(Karla Sayler, St. Alexius Medical Center):  "Lots of people have concerns about, I forgot where I put my keys, I forgot where I put my car so. They want to know is that normal? Is it abnormal? So we give them a standardized test that gives them an idea if their concern with their memory is normal or not.”

(Reporter):  Alzheimers is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States. Joann Gensler`s family represents some of those people who have been affected by the disease.

(Joann Gensler, Took Memory Screening):  "My family has a history of Alzheimers and I know that if you do things early you can probably catch because they don`t have any treatment for it and that`s why I came in.”

(Reporter):  Scientists predict that by 2040 more than 80 million people globally, will suffer from some type of memory loss.

(Shawn):  "The thing that`s emphasized most is to learn something new whether that`s taking a new route to school, route to work or even waking up every day at a different time. anything that will build connections with your brain.”

(Reporter):  Nurses at St. Alexius hope that this free screening can reassure people that they are fine or alert them to see their physician.  St. Alexius offers memory screenings every few months.

Reporter:  Alexander Gorney