Prof. Eli Mizrahi, an expert in geriatrics and psychogeriatrics from the Faculty of Medicine at Tel Aviv University, explains that memory disorders can be classified into two different types. The first type is a benign disorder known as ‘remembering’ disorder, where information is present in the brain but difficult to retrieve. This type of disorder is common in older adults and may lead to dementia in some cases. The second type is a mild memory disorder known as Age Associated Memory Impairment, which indicates a decrease in short-term memory and could potentially lead to dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
Prof. Mizrahi describes the difference between dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, explaining that dementia refers to a decline in mental capacity that affects day-to-day functioning. He emphasizes that dementia due to Alzheimer’s disease initially affects higher functions and progresses to impair basic actions as it advances.
Concerns have been raised about President Joe Biden’s forgetfulness and whether it indicates a cognitive problem. However, Prof. Mizrahi stresses that it is not possible to assess Biden’s cognitive state based on press conferences alone. Instead, he suggests consulting with Biden’s family members and staff to gain insight into his daily cognitive function beyond confusion with names related to important topics. Signs of cognitive decline in daily activities and interactions would be important factors to consider in an assessment of his cognitive state.