welcome to the organic green doctor blog

i am a family physician who was diagnosed with
early mild cognitive impairment(mci) amnestic type on december 21, 2010
this is a precursor to alzheimers disease
because of this diagnosis i have opted to stop practicing medicine
this blog will be about my journey with this disease
please feel free to follow me along this path
i will continue blogging on organic gardening, green living,
solar power, rainwater collection, and healthy living
i will blog on these plus other things noted to be interesting

Friday, January 6, 2012

what to do, tomater star

this is a question i get a lot especially recently maybe because of
the holidays
these questions come in on email, texts, facebook, this blog and in
personal phone calls or conversations

what do i do if i think i have short term memory problems or if a
relative has short term memory problems

its simple get it checked out
sometimes these things are treatable
sometimes what you are worried about is just normal aging

what happened in my situation was different
i did not go in looking for an evaluation or complaining of a problem

i had a normal mental status evaluation for long term care and passed
then 1 year later while volunteering for a alzheimers research study as
a normal volunteer i underwent a neuropsychological evaluation that
showed i had short term memory problems greater than expected
for my age and my degree of education
thus the mess i am in now was discovered

if you think you have a problem whether some one else notices it or
not you should get evaluated
the goal is to look for treatable causes-anemia, depression, low thyroid,
b12 deficiency, stroke, sleep problems etc
you want these things and not the big A

go to your primary care provider or neurologist or psychiatrist
and talk to them
if you think theres a problem dont take dont worry about it for an

you need a complete neurological history and physical examination
looking for abnormalities
evaluate any history of drug or alcohol abuse or head trauma or
family history of the big A

you need some type of mental status evaluation
-mmse (this one is not as thorough and is commonly used)
(it misses my deficits), its done in the doctors office
-moca test is more thorough in picking up a problem (it picks up my problem)
it is also done in the doctors office and
-a neuropsychological examination if there is still a question you should
have it done by a psychologist or neuropyschologist
the neuropsychological examination is the gold standard to use to evaluate
short term memory loss

you should be screened for depression
you should make sure there is no sleep disorders such as sleep apnea

here are the labs that are usually done
complete blood count, complete metabolic profile (electrolytes, glucose,
kidney functions, liver function tests), vitamin b12, syphilis screen, hiv test,
tsh (thyroid test for low thyroid function), urinalysis
these are looking for some of the treatable causes of memory loss

then if these are all normal you should have a mri of the brain to rule out
stroke, tumors, aneurysm, increased fluid, and shrinkage of the brain

if all these are normal and the mental status exam confirms a problem with
short term memory then it is possible that you are dealing with the big A

you and your doctor will need to look at all the information and make a
clinical decision on whether this is what you have-the big A

soon you will be able to get biomarkers done on blood, in the spinal fluid,
and beta amyloid pet scans to get a more definitive answer
i had some of those done

if it appears to be the big A
would recommend you start treatment as early as possible
it gives you time with your family that youll lose if you dont
it gives you time to prepare for the future
even though it wont cure you most people opt for treatment
i did

my wifes shes tomato she has at her school will become a tv star
this weekend on klrus central texas gardener at 1200 noon and
at 400 pm
ive told the story of that tomater before
will leave it to the tv show to do the complete job

cant wait to plant one of these weird ones this spring in the garden
and see what grows

the organicgreen doctor


  1. Thank you for the heads up on Central Texas Gardener and these very helpful medical tips! So scary.

  2. lindactg
    thanks for the comment
    love ctg
    long time listener
    my wife and i seem to bump into tom every year at lost maples