In America alone an estimated 5.7
million people are living with Alzheimer's and many go undiagnosed
and untreated until later stages appear. Early detection is possibly
the best weapon in the fight against any disease or disorder. Often
times, however, the tests get taken and/or are only accurate when
symptoms are already an issue.
In the future
this may be solved with a series of blood tests, taken over time,
which looks for an abnormal increase of a certain protein that exists
in the bloodstream.
Along with other declining mental states, Alzheimers is a diesease with many stages in cognitive function. Recognizing these stages might help you or a loved one with diagnosing Alzheimer's and formulating treatment plans.
Stage one is the baseline that indicates no mental decline is present. The symptoms of stage 1 Alzheimer's are undetectable and is referred to as no cognitive decline.
The second stage of Alzheimer's is where there is very mild cognitive delcine. This can be mistaken for typical aging forgetfulness like forgeting your keys or misplacing objects.
Why Early Diagnosis of Dementia is Important
By Adam Shepherd
Memory issues like Alzheimers and Dementia can be disorienting for the person affected and confusing for family and friends. Dementia is also a progressive ailment which means it starts out gradual and gets worse over time. While the effects are more subtle, early detection is crucial to prevent confusion and and worsenning symptoms later in the illness.
Firstly, and most importantly, early detection and diagnosis of Dementia means the patient and family have more opportunity to understand what is happening.
Often there is confusion over how to define Alzheimer's and Dementia and how they relate to each. To properly treat patients it's important to know the distinction. Not only so the right treatment goes to the right patient at the right time, but so the patients' family and friends have a better idea as to what to expect.
To define the differences we can start with some simple classification. Dementia is a syndrome which means it is a set of symptoms that don't point to a singular cause.
As you come to grips with an Alzheimer’s or other dementia diagnosis,
you may be dealing with a whole range of emotions and concerns. You’ll
no doubt be worried about how your loved one will change, how you’ll
keep him or her comfortable, and how much your life will change. You’ll
also likely be experiencing emotions such as anger, grief, and shock.
Adjusting to this new reality is not easy. It’s important to give
yourself some time and to reach out for help. The more support you have,
the better you will be able to help your loved one.