• Barbara Moran

    Barbara Moran, Senior Science Writer

    Barbara Moran is a science writer in Brookline, Mass. Profile

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There are 4 comments on Diagnosis: Alzheimer’s

  1. The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America suggested getting a memory screening to detect the disease early. Here is some information about memory screenings:

    • A memory screening is like any other routine health check-up. It is non-invasive and takes just five to 10 minutes.

    • Memory screenings consist of a series of questions and/or tasks that are designed to gauge thinking and language skills, as well as memory. These screenings are face-to-face and administered by qualified healthcare professionals.

    • A memory screening is NOT a diagnosis of any particular condition; however it can signal whether someone should follow-up with a physician for a full evaluation.

    • If a person scores below what is considered the “normal” threshold on a memory screening, he or she will be referred to a primary care physician for a full evaluation.

    • There are a number of reasons a person can be having memory problems – and a memory problem doesn’t always mean someone has Alzheimer’s disease.

    • Some other sources of memory problems include vitamin deficiencies, thyroid issues, and depression, which are treatable and even curable.

    • According to a recent study conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, about nine in 10 adultsages 40+ (91 percent) say without their memory, they wouldn’t be themselves. Yet, one in two (56 percent) say they have other health concerns more pressing than getting a memory screening.

    Why Should Someone Consider a Memory Screening?
    • The first step putting a person on a path to proper treatment is identifying that there is a memory issue, and that’s where screenings can help.

    • A recent study that was published in the journal Neurology underscores the importance of memory screenings.

    o The study followed more than 2,000 people with a current average age of 73, for a period of 18 years, testing their memory and thinking skills every three years within that timeframe.

    o During the course of the study, 23 percent of African-American participants and 17 percent of European-American participants developed Alzheimer’s disease.

    Why Should Someone Consider a Memory Screening? (con’t.)

    o The study found that individuals who scored poorly on the screenings during the first year of the study were 10 times more likely to develop the disease.

    • If a memory problem does turn out to be Alzheimer’s disease, there are many benefits to early detection.

    o If cognitive impairment is diagnosed while a person’s cognitive abilities are still intact, that person may be able to take an active role in developing their care plan.

    o Early detection of memory issues can afford a person an opportunity to participate in legal and financial planning conversations and to make their
    end-of-life wishes known. That will help take the guesswork out of some of the tough decisions family members will be faced with as the disease progresses.

  2. THE ALZHEIMERS ASSOCIATION IS WORKING OVERTIME TO MAKE EVERYONE WITH MEMORY LOSS THINK THEY HAVE ALZHEIMERS. Indeed, ALZ exists, and needs to be planned for, but memory loss is normal in most people as they age (and planning is helpful here as well). It would help if the medical establishment could come up with a better name for “DEMENTIA”, which used to be known as “senility” or “hardening of the arteries”. My mother who is 90 has an extreme case of short term memory loss, but she has enough wits about her to know she is not “Demented”.

  3. PLEASE I am the friend and neighbor of a 77 year old who has ALZ. Right now she is at home and an adult son and daughter in law have moved in. Her husband is in the hospital. She is starting to get paranoid and thinks they want to take her house etc. Is there some literature you can send me to give to her son as to how to interact with her? She comes to me about twice a day crying and upset. I live 3 houses up the street from her. We were friends for 45 yrs. and she still remembers me although not my name. I fear for her when winter comes if she decides to wander which she has not done yet. Please send me something I can give to her son. Thank you, Mrs Joan Kelly

  4. For four years I cared 24/7 for my wife, as she walked through Alzheimer’s Disease. Six weeks ago a stroke ended her suffering. I am still recovering from the stress of caregiving, as are several of my friends.

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