Can short term memory loss morph into something more severe?


My Mom just saw her family doc two days ago. Upon my request her family doctor tested her for the first onset of Altzheimer's. But she tested positive for short term memory loss.

I don't want my Mom to have anything serious, but I can't help but wonder if this diagnosis is the wrong one OR if her short term memory loss will morph into Altzheimer's or Dementia.

My Mom not only repeats herself but she also throws her clothes in the waste paper basket we have by our commode that we place her soiled diapers and soiled toilet tissue in. She also has thrown away her important mail in the garbage, her hearing aids in the garbage, and now she takes off her bra in the middle of the night and hides it under her bed wedge. Two weeks ago I discovered a whole new roll of toilet paper saturated in urine and thrown on the floor by the commode. These behaviors are so unlike my Mom and that is why I wanted her to be tested to see if she has the first onset of Altzheimer's or Dementia. Her family doctor claims she doesn't, and she did better on the test than she did 2 yrs ago.

Something doesn't make sense to me. I'm having trouble believing that it's nothing but short term memory loss.

Is this common behavior of a person that has short term memory loss or is there something else wrong that I'm not being told? Thank you all for helping me in advance.

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One mini stroke tells me she has a history of vascular disease. My mom never had a major stroke, but multiple TIA's that eventually have lead (I believe) to vascular dementia. Often these events are so transient they are not even noticed when they occur but the cumulative effects show up over time. Short term memory loss is often one of the first symptoms family will notice, whether it's alzheimers or another form of dementia. I like the way geewiz puts it, "the behavior is the final test".
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To Freqflyer: My Mom used to be plagued with UTI's on a continual basis, but now that she is taking the monthly maintenance treatments called PTNS, she no longer is plagued with them.

To Geewiz: My Mom is 85 yrs. old. She's been taking thyroid medications for over 10 yrs. underactive thyroid problems are inherited on her mother's side of the family.

To my knowledge she's only had one mini stroke over 5 yrs ago but with no permanent damage I was told.

I am trying to find answers and solutions on what to expect (if anything) for now and in the future with Mom. Being that I'm the one that stays here with her and takes care of her all the time, I guess I'm just trying to prepare myself for future events. So I know what I'm dealing with. Does this sound unrealistic to try to do?
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Lyndee, how old is your Mom? From my viewpoint, with or without a stated diagnosis, the behavior is the final test. You might read the website as well as the information on this site . There are MANY medical causes for short term memory loss. Urinary tract infections as mentioned by Freqflyer. I'll add dehydration and thyroid issues to the list. ALZ is a specific type of dementia. But many of the behaviors for the spectrum of dementia diagnosis mirror each other. If you are able to eliminate medical reasons, you will have to find ways to deal with the behaviors regardless of a stated diagnosis. Good luck and READ everything you can about this.
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Has your mother been tested for a urinary tract infection [UTI] because in the elderly the symptoms are so much different than for us when we were much younger.
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