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Forgetfulness: Treatment, Procedure, Cost and Side Effects

Last Updated: Feb 25, 2024

What is the treatment?

Forgetfulness has anumber of common synonyms such as inattention, absentmindedness, heedlessness and memory loss. However, forgetfulness may be associated with diseases like amnesia, dementia and Alzheimer’s.

How is the treatment done?

Treatment of forgetfulness mainly depends on the cause of it. If forgetfulness is a result of amnesia or PTSD, it can be treated with therapy and is not irreversible. However, if forgetfulness is a symptom of Alzheimer’s or dementia, it cannot be reversed. There are still ways to help the patient and family cope, but there is no treatment available for this sort of forgetfulness. This condition is also often associated with a probability of memory loss. The memory loss might be short term and long term as well. The condition of forgetfulness may occur due to some past trauma or accident and people who suffer from this condition only remember parts and portions of the memory. The ones who are suffering from this disease often go through a lot of stress when they try to recall a certain incident and it often hurts certain nerves in their brain. Due to this condition one might also face difficulty in carrying out day to day activities and forget what they have learned. In a severe condition of memory loss, one might forget who they are and might not recognize anyone around him/her, not even their family members. The treatment should begin from an early stage otherwise it can lead to complete memory impairment.

Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)

A doctor may recommend physical, neurological and psychiatric tests to determine the real cause of forgetfulness. Urine and blood tests may be conducted by the doctor to find any related problems. Mental abilities may also be tested through tests of memory, problem solving, language and counting. A CT scan may help the doctor rule out a curable disorder and a scan also helps reveal what ar the normal age related changes in the brain. Progressive scans can reveal the changes in the brain over time. It is extremely important for persons with irreversible conditions like dementia to control high blood pressure, monitor and treat high blood cholesterol and diabetes, and to totally avoid smoking to prevent further complications. A person with dementia, though it is incurable, should be under a doctor's care, and may see a neurologist, psychiatrist, family doctor, or geriatrician. The doctor can treat the physical and behavioral problems of the patient and answer the numerous questions that the person or family may have. Doctors may prescribe various medications to reduce or cure depression, agitation, anxiety or sleeping problems. These are commonly noticed in people suffering from dementia. Though there is no special dietary requirement or diet that can prevent dementia, it is important to maintain good health by having a balanced diet. This can prevent many further health problems.

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

Those suffering from curable conditions like PTSD and amnesia can receive treatment. However, there is no treatment for Alzheimer’s and dementia. In case of early onset, therapy may help the patient and the family cope, but there is no treatment for the later stages of the aforementioned diseases.

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Are there any side effects?

Treatment may help people in whom these conditions have set in early. Early therapy and treatment may greatly help the patient and the patient’s family adjust and cope with the condition. Those who have progressed too far into the condition will unfortunately not find any help from treatment though, therapy can help the patient and their family cope.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

Treatment for forgetfulness involves treatment of the condition causing it , which may vary from dementia to Alzheimer’s to global amnesia to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Patients may suffer side effects from medications prescribed for various related problems. There are no medicines for forgetfulness as such. Most medicines given are to control and counter problems like depression, anxiety, sleep disorders, behavioural problems and associated physical problems. Patients must notify doctors about all allergies and intolerances prior to treatment. This will ensure that there are no side effects.

How long does it take to recover?

Post prescribing the medicines, the doctor must ensure that the patient follows guidelines and consumes the medicines according to his instructions. It is also important for people suffering from Alzheimer’s and dementia to maintain a balanced diet. This will keep them in overall good health which is absolutely vital in order to ensure that the condition does not escalate or worsen. It is also important for patients to receive a lot of love, care and attention from their caregivers.

What is the price of the treatment in India?

In case of amnesia and PTSD, speedy recovery may happen due to proper therapy and medical attention. It is however, more permanent in case of Alzheimer’s and dementia. Therapy may make it easier to cope with the condition but there is no full recovery in this case.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

Treatment depends on what the doctor prescribes, which may include neurological, physical and psychiatric aspects. A CT scan may cost anywhere between 6000 to 12000 rupees depending on the quality. The doctor is likely to prescribe antidepressants and other medications to cope with behavioural problems like anxiety, depression, sleep disorders, etc. These are rather expensive. So is therapy which is often recommended to cope with the condition, especially for the family.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

It is likely that once amnesia is treated, forgetfulness will not occur again, unless there is an accident which causes amnesia. PTSD, once treated through therapy, may recur. Dementia and Alzheimer’s cannot be treated and therefore, there is no question of their treatment being permanent.

References

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Written ByDr. S.Sagin Raj Diploma in Diabetology,CCRH (certificate in reproductive health),MBBS,F.F.M(family medicine)General Physician
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