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Should I be Tested for Alzheimer’s

Jul 31

Written by:
7/31/2014 5:51 PM  RssIcon

Just last week, the Denver Broncos announced that Coach Pat Bowlen is stepping down because of Alzheimer's disease. This leads many of us to question, "Should I be tested and do I really want to know the results?"

Alzheimer's, 1 Health Place International, The Brain Wave Center, Dementia

Overall, Dementia is not a specific disease, but a term that applies to symptoms associated with cognitive or mental decline.  There are over 100 types of dementia of which 8 are most common and include mini stroke, Alzheimer’s and others (I’ll list and explain the top 8 in a future blog.)  Of course Alzheimer’s tends to scare us the most and affects over 4 million Americans.









Just last week, the Denver Broncos announced that Coach Pat Bowlen is stepping down because of Alzheimer's disease. This leads many of us to question, "Should I be tested and do I really want to know the results?"

Alzheimer's, 1 Health Place International, The Brain Wave Center, Dementia

Overall, Dementia is not a specific disease, but a term that applies to symptoms associated with cognitive or mental decline.  There are over 100 types of dementia of which 8 are most common and include mini stroke, Alzheimer’s and others (I’ll list and explain the top 8 in a future blog.)  Of course Alzheimer’s tends to scare us the most and affects over 4 million Americans.

Should you get tested breaks down into two general categories: 1) You are experiencing or your friends and loved ones are noticing some level of cognitive decline, and 2) It runs in your family or you are worried (from concussions, disease or other reasons.)

What are the results of getting more information?  The following, in-part, are taken from an excellent resource, The Alzheimer's Reading Room:

1)   First it might not be dementia but Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI).  Some people with mild cognitive impairment go on to develop dementia. For others, with proper care and treatment can revert to a normal status.

2)   You will be able to have more time to explore treatment options, making sure to receive their maximum benefit.  These options may be able to prolong quality of life, relieve some symptoms, and help maintain some level of independence for a longer period of time.  In addition, you give yourself the chance to participate in various clinical programs that also help advance research.

3)   You’ll have more time to have a part in planning for the future. An early diagnosis allows you to take part in decisions about care, transportation, living options, financial and legal matters. You can also participate in building the right care team and social support network.

4)   Finally, you and your loved ones will be able to find available care and support services.  From early onset, family members will begin to feel what is termed ambiguous loss which is different from the loss and grief of death because closure is not possible.  Understanding loss and grief can help to ease the emotional effects of the disease on you and your loved ones.  Seeking help early will help make it easier for you and your family to live the best life possible with dementia.

Alzheimer's, 1 Health Place International, The Brain Wave Center, Dementia

If you are experiencing some sort of cognitive decline you should get answers.  Go see your doctor.  There are several online written tests you can take if you are curious, but you should recognize that these are assessment tools and not an official diagnosis.  If you find the test results suspicious, please don't jump to any conclusions.  Instead, you should contact your doctor immediately, and ask for a neurological or geriatric consult. These specialists can determine, through a series of tests, whether or not you are suffering from or headed for Alzheimer's.

The Brain Wave Center offers brain assessments that measure brain health, efficiency and cognitive capacity.  For more information about our testing please call us at 941-552-4500 to schedule your free consultation.  You have questions, we have answers.


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