5 Warning Signs You Have Alzheimer's, Says Brain Expert
I am a dementia specialist, there are very few of us in practice. We tend to get involved in the care of patients when there is something atypical about what is going on. Perhaps a patient is experiencing symptoms of a rare dementia such as posterior cortical atrophy. Any physician including primary care doctors and geriatricians can diagnose the majority of dementias without the need for a specialist. Alzheimer's is the most common dementia but more than half of the estimated six million Americans with the disease lack a diagnosis. The more we know about Alzheimer's the earlier and more accurately we can detect and diagnose it. This provides patients a huge opportunity to intervene and make a significant impact on their life for the better. Read on to find out more—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.
Why You Should Worry About Alzheimer's
When it comes to cognitive disorders including Alzheimer's, COVID "brain fog", and dementia, early detection creates an opportunity for improved care and management. Studies now show that 40% of dementia can be prevented or slowed with early intervention. With more information comes better-informed decisions that can help patients live better and safer lives, decrease caregiver frustration, and save health systems trillions of dollars. Alzheimer's is an issue that touches everyone. It's become so prevalent that it's estimated that six million Americans 65 and over have Alzheimer's dementia, and 13.8 million are projected to have Alzheimer's dementia by 2050. Scroll on to learn about the warning signs of Alzheimer's.
Losing Track of Appointments
Memory loss such as losing track of appointments – sometimes patients have trouble tracking where and when they are supposed to be. They start missing appointments or need someone else to help remind them.
Getting Lost in Familiar Places
Navigating your surroundings (getting lost or not remembering where you were going). Sometimes patients get lost while driving in familiar places where they've been many times before. Sometimes when walking around the neighborhood or even in a busy place like a mall.
Trouble With Numbers
The trouble with numbers, bills, and taxes. Sometimes patients will pay a bill more than once because they forgot they paid it already. Or they lose track of their mail or emails and do not pay the bill.
These Troubling Issues
Other things like changes in your vision and language such as word finding or grammatical errors. Less commonly patients may experience changes in vision such as misinterpreting their environment, having hallucinations, or missing objects in their surroundings. Other changes can include trouble with speaking or communicating, trouble with complete sentences, trouble finding the right word, or misusing a word.
What You Can Do to Reduce the Risk of Alzheimer's
People can do a lot to reduce their risk including keeping their senses sharp. This means keeping your hearing checks up to date, wearing hearing aids if needed, having your vision checked and wearing appropriate glasses, exercise to keep your body tuned and healthy, and lowering your vascular risk factors which includes working to keep your blood pressure healthy, your diet, and your sleep (addressing sleep apnea for example). The best way to think about this is the more diversity and stimulation you provide your brain the better. So if you start to lose your hearing, your brain is not being stimulated the way it needs. If you're not sleeping 7-8 hours at least a night, then your brain is not receiving the rest it needs. If you are no socializing and have a good support system your brain is not getting the support it needs. And to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.
Dr. Reza Hosseini Ghomi is a practicing neuropsychiatrist, focused on neurodegenerative disorders and is serving as Chief Medical Officer at BrainCheck. Dr. Ghomi suggests patients concerned about their cognition to speak with their doctor.
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