Many of us have been touched by the devastation of Alzheimer’s. We’ve seen, or at least heard, about the heartbreaking and sometimes scary impact it has on our loved ones or friends. And we may wonder if it’s in our own future. Unfortunately, the most important risk factors are things we have no control over: age, family history, genetics, and race/ethnicity.
You may also wonder if some things you are experiencing are warning signs. Memory loss is one of the most common signs of Alzheimer’s, and some other signs may be indications that Alzheimer’s is setting in. However, everyone will experience some typical changes as we age. Per the Alzheimer’s Association, here are some of the differences:
|Typical Age-Related Change:||Warning Sign Of Alzheimer’s:|
|Occasionally forgetting names or appointments,|
then remembering them later
|Memory loss that disrupts daily life, such as
forgetting recently learned information, forgetting
important dates or events, or asking for the same
|Making occasional errors when balancing a|
|Challenges in planning or solving problems, such
as following recipes, or taking much longer to do
something than they used to
|Needing help to record a TV show or use the|
settings on a microwave
|Difficulty completing familiar tasks, such as
driving to a familiar location or remembering the
rules of a favorite game
|Getting confused about the day of the week but|
remembering it later
|Confusion with time or place, where they are or
how they got there, or losing track of the season
or the passage of time
|Vision changes, cataracts||Trouble reading, judging distances, or determining
color or contrast
|Sometimes having trouble finding the right word||Trouble finding the right word, calling things the
wrong name, stopping in the middle of a
conversation and having no idea how to continue,
or repeating themselves
|Misplacing things||Putting things in unusual places, being unable to
retrace steps to find things, or accusing others of
|Making a poor decision once in a while||Decreased or poor judgement such as paying less
attention to grooming/personal hygiene or giving
away money (such as to scammers)
|Sometimes weary of work, family, and social|
|Withdrawal from work or social activities, hobbies,
or sports; trouble keeping up with a favorite team
|Becoming irritable when a routine is disrupted||Changes in mood or personality, such as
becoming confused, suspicious, depressed,
fearful, or anxious, and easily upset
If you notice any of these early warning signs, don’t ignore them. Make an appointment with a doctor right away. Early detection ensures the maximum benefit from available treatments, relieving some symptoms and maintaining independence longer.
There are also a few things you can do to influence your risk. These include:
Protecting your brain—Buckle your seat belt, wear a helmet when playing sports or riding a bike, and otherwise be careful to protect your brain. There may be a link between serious head trauma and future risk.
Being heart smart—Conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol, which all damage the heart and blood vessels, seem to increase risk as well.
Protecting your overall health—Research suggests that overall healthy aging may help, to. Eat a healthy diet, stay active, exercise the body and mind, and avoid tobacco and excess alcohol.
Today, Alzheimer’s is the only top 10 cause of death that cannot be prevented, cured, or even slowed. Research is critical to discovering ways to fight it. Meridien Research has studies that are enrolling now—including studies for healthy seniors who feel they may be at risk for Alzheimer’s—at several of our clinics. For more information or to see if you or someone you know may qualify to participate, please contact us today at 1-888-777-8839 or visit NewStudyInfo.com.