November is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month
What You Need to Know About Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s is a progressive medical condition. It is important to learn about the disease along with some simple steps that can help delay the potential onset or help facilitate an early diagnosis. While the terms are often used interchangeably, “dementia” is an umbrella term for many types of diseases associated with cognitive decline and memory loss, whereas “Alzheimer’s” references a specific diagnosis. Alzheimer’s is referred to as a progressive disease, as the dementia symptoms generally worsen gradually over time.
Alzheimer’s disease is commonly diagnosed after conducting a memory screening that can be done during your annual wellness visit. It is important to have a memory screening done each year, as having a historical record can increase your health care practitioner’s ability to accurately diagnose memory disorders earlier.
Some of the most noticeable symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease are:
- The inability to retain newly learned information;
- Having to ask for the same information repeatedly; and
- Requiring memory aids, such as notes, to remember basic information.
Staying physically and mentally active is key, regardless of age. That may mean taking a brisk walk, playing online brain games or participating in other activities that can improve circulation and challenge your mind. Additionally, it is important to keep your blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels in check. If you are a smoker, quitting is important, as smoking increases your chances of developing Alzheimer’s.
Taking these steps to help prevent Alzheimer’s is important, as there is currently no cure for the disease.
For more information about Alzheimer’s disease, read here.
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