If you are an older individual, then you may be concerned about the effects of aging on your mind. Dementia is a very scary thing to think about for most people and even the thought of cognitive decline may keep you from seeking assistance for the early signs of dementia. If you do want assistance, then it is best to visit an age management medical practice that is experienced in age related disorders. In some cases, the dementia symptoms may be caused by an unrelated disease. Keep reading to understand what may be happening and how the problem can be resolved. 


Hypothyroidism is a disease that is characterized by the poor functionality of the thyroid gland. In particular, the thyroid becomes under-active and stops producing as much of the thyroid hormones as it should. Unfortunately, elderly individuals are likely to become affected by hypothyroidism due to physiological changes as well as autoimmune deficiencies. The symptoms of the disease are often overlooked though, and attributed to other sorts of illnesses like heart disease and dementia.

The symptoms of hypothyroidism that are similar to dementia include memory loss, depression, fatigue, and a general feeling of grogginess. Also, mood changes may be associated with the disease due to the onset of depression or frustration with fatigue. 

If you notice some of these signs of hypothyroidism, then ask your physician to order a blood test. The test can be used to check the amount of thyroid producing hormones that are present in your blood. Tests can also be used to determine if there is enough of the chemical in your system that triggers the release of thyroid hormones. 

If hypothyroidism is detected, then you will likely need to take medication that is prescribed by your doctor. The medicine or medicines are synthetic hormones that elevate the level of the chemicals in your body to a normal concentration. You will typically notice some of your symptoms reducing a week or two after starting the medication. If you do not notice a change or if memory problems or fatigue remain, then the dose of the medication may need to be adjusted. 


Certain types of brain infections can cause personality changes, weaknesses, fatigue, memory problems, confusion, and hallucinations. In particular, these are things that can occur when an encephalitis infection develops. Elderly individuals are often affected by encephalitis due to the general impairment of the immune system.

Viral, bacterial, and fungal encephalitis conditions are all possible. When the infection develops, one or several parts of the brain begin to swell. You are likely to develop a mild to moderate fever at this time, but the fever will often subside while the other troublesome symptoms will continue. 

If you have recently had the flu, had a bodily infection, or have traveled outside of the country, then an encephalitis condition is more likely. Make sure to inform your physician of these things so that testing can be completed to determine if a brain infection has developed or not. Blood tests, MRIs, EEG, and spinal taps may all be completed. In very serious cases, a brain tissue biopsy will be completed. However, this is not something that will be done unless treatments fail.

Once the tests accurately diagnose the condition, you may need to be hospitalized for a short period of time. The condition is a serious one that must be monitored carefully to make sure that treatments are working effectively. Antibiotics may be provided or you may be given antiviral or antifungal medications.

There are a wide variety of ailments that can produce symptoms that are similar to those of dementia. Before a dementia diagnoses is considered, you should work with your doctor to make sure that a different sort of illness is not affecting you in a negative manner.