Alzheimer’s Aware

January 26, 2018

Almost everyone believes they will maintain a certain level of mental sharpness throughout their lives—or at least notice if their memory starts to slip.

However, an estimated 5.5 million Americans suffer from Alzheimer’s Disease: a form of dementia that affects the mind and causes problems with memory, thinking, and behavior, and eventually progresses to interfere with the ability to perform everyday tasks.

Unlike a heart attack or stroke, Alzheimer’s develops slowly and worsens over time.

Early detection of Alzheimer’s provides the best chance of benefitting from treatment. Being aware of the disease and its symptoms can help you and your loved ones spot it early and get help.

“While there is not yet a reliable blood or imaging test to conclusively allow an Alzheimer’s Disease diagnosis, there are clinical symptoms and signs that may indicate earlier stages of this disease,” says Dayton Center for Neurological Disorders neurologist Kenneth Pugar, MD.

The Alzheimer’s Association recommends looking for these 10 signs:

  1. Memory loss that disrupts daily life
  2. Challenges in planning or solving problems
  3. Difficulty completing familiar tasks
  4. Confusion with time or place
  5. Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships
  6. New problems with words in speaking or writing
  7. Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps
  8. Decreased or poor judgement
  9. Withdrawal from work or social activities
  10. Changes in mood and personality

Alzheimer’s is diagnosed through careful medical evaluation that includes a physical and neurological exam, detailed medical history, and mental status and mood testing.

Oftentimes, your doctor will consider diagnostic tests to rule out other potential causes for these symptoms.

If you or a loved one is experiencing any of these symptoms, there is help available.

Learn More: Attend Dimensions of Dementia, a community forum hosted by the Alzheimer’s Association on March 15 from 5-7:30 p.m. This forum features a resource fair, dinner, and a presentation for anyone interested in or affected by dementia.