As we get older, we may start to notice some “senior moments”. So just which row did we park the car in while at the mall? Who hasn’t forgotten at one time or another where they set their car keys? Lets see….is today Wednesday or is it Thursday? Darn it….I forgot the electric bill was due yesterday! As these moments occur, it’s natural to start wondering about Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. Nowadays, there are a lot of web sites offering tests and quizzes to help us decide if we have a variety of illnesses including Alzheimer’s. There are some that even allow us to submit a variety of symptoms and then obtain a list of possible causes or diseases. Baby boomers are a much more computer literate group of people than their parents ever were and they increasingly turn to the internet for all kinds of information including medical advice.
That being said, there are a lot of reasons to catch the onset of Alzheimer’s early. One of the most important reasons is to rule out other causes of memory loss such as a Vitamin B12 deficiency or thyroid problems. Many of these causes are treatable if not reversible. Knowing if you’re in the very early stages of Alzheimer’s allows you to start treatment earlier which is important because medications for Alzheimer’s have been shown to be more effective the sooner they are begun. An early diagnosis allows you to prepare for the inevitable effects of Alzheimer’s which is currently incurable. You’ll have time to make medical and financial decisions and those who care about you will have time to develop a better understanding of how your behavior will change. This is an important consideration for literally millions of people. According to the Alzheimer’s Association there are over 5 million Americans dealing with Alzheimer’s and this number is expected to balloon to over 7 million by 2025.
The thing to remember is that just because you lost something, or forgot a word or someone’s name, doesn’t mean you have or are getting Alzheimer’s. There are age related changes to your memory that you will develop as you get older. By all means DO NOT put your faith in any online quizzes or tests promising to give advance warning of oncoming dementia or Alzheimer’s!!!! According to the National Core for Neuroethics at the University of British Columbia in Canada, these online tests are absolutely unreliable. They rate “poor or very poor” for scientific validity. If you have concerns about memory issues, go see your doctor. Trust his medical expertise to help sort symptoms out. If he confirms your fears, you’ll get a head start on treatment. If he tells you your suspicions are groundless, you can relax. It’s a win-win course of action. Have you ever taken one of those self-diagnostic tests? Share below and visit us at http://www.trilliumhomecare.com