Alzheimer’s or Aging Naturally?

As you age, you may experience what is jokingly referred to as a “senior moment” when trying to remember why you entered a room or where you left your keys.  These moments are fairly common, but how do you know if your forgetfulness is the result of natural aging or Alzheimer’s?

Almost 40 percent of people over the age of 65 experience some form of memory loss without having any medical condition associated with it.  This process is known as Age-Associated Memory Impairment.  This condition is considered to be part of the natural aging process.

According to Alz.org, (Alzheimer’s Association) many things change as we age.  Our bodies and brain’s slow down and we are less physically and mentally flexible.  We may take more time to process information and experience some memory loss causing us to be forgetful of people places and things as we age.

Some signs of a naturally aging mind are:

  • Experiencing some memory loss, but being able to provide considerable detail when explaining the episode
  • Maintaining memory for important events, appointments and conversations
  • Occasional difficulty in finding words
  • Normal performance on mental status exams

Independent living and being able to conduct day to day activities and maintain interpersonal skills is also a reminder that you are aging naturally. As you age, it is beneficial to keep your mind sharp by remaining active, exercising, playing games that challenge your mind to think such as crossword puzzles or chess.

Conversely, Alzheimer’s disease is also associated with memory loss. This disease can affect people who are advanced in age or who are younger than the age of 65.  When early on-set occurs, the disease is referred to as either younger-onset or early onset Alzheimer’s.  Forgetfulness due to Alzheimer’s is not a part of the natural aging process.

Some symptoms and signs of Alzheimer’s are:

  • Personality or mood changes
  • Difficulty making decisions
  • Misplacing items on a regular basis
  • Withdrawing from social situations
  • Difficulty finding the right words for specific items
  • Difficulty finishing a sentence
  • Losing tract of locations, dates or times
  • Asking for the same information again and again
  • Difficulty learning new things

If you are experiencing symptoms or displaying signs of the disease on an ongoing basis, it is recommended that you consult a physician who specializes in treating Alzheimer’s.   In order to diagnose the disease, the physician may complete a comprehensive medical evaluation which can include cognitive tests, brain imaging, neurological and medical exams.

Early detection of Alzheimer’s disease can maximize the benefits received from treatment and may help you to maintain your independence longer.  Therefore, it is highly advised that you seek the assistance of a specialist immediately.

 

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Early Onset Alzheimer’s

Many people associate Alzheimer’s disease with older adults that are advanced in age. However, the disease can also affect people who are younger than the age of 65.  When this happens, the disease is referred to as younger-onset or early onset Alzheimer’s.

Early-onset Alzheimer’s has been found to mostly affect people in their forties and fifties.   Currently, experts are unsure why some people get the disease at an earlier age than others.  Research does point to genetics as a contributing factor in some cases.

The symptoms and signs of early-onset Alzheimer’s may differ with each person and can include:

  • Personality or mood changes
  • Difficulty making decisions
  • Misplacing items on a regular basis
  • Frequently withdrawing from social situations
  • Difficulty finding the right words for specific items
  • Difficulty finishing a sentence
  • Losing track of locations, dates or times
  • Asking for the same information again and again
  • Difficulty learning new things

If you are experiencing symptoms or displaying signs of the disease on an ongoing basis, it is recommended that you consult a physician who specializes in treating Alzheimer’s.   In order to diagnose the disease, the physician may complete a comprehensive medical evaluation which can include cognitive tests, brain imaging, neurological and medical exams.

Early detection of Alzheimer’s disease can maximize the benefits received from treatment and may help you to maintain your independence longer.  Therefore, it is highly advised that you seek the assistance of a specialist immediately.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month

June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month.  During this month, the Alzheimer’s Association is asking healthcare providers to raise awareness about Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

Alzheimer’s disease affects over 5 million Americans and is fatal.  It is a progressive brain disease that currently has no cure.  Alzheimer’s is more than memory loss and can appear through a variety of signs and symptoms such as:

  • Memory loss
  • Difficulty planning and solving problems
  • Difficulty completing familiar tasks
  • Difficulty determining time or place
  • Difficulty finding the right words
  • Misplacing items often
  • Difficulty making decisions
  • Personality and mood changes
  • Withdrawing from work and social events

Alzheimer’s, unlike Dementia (which is syndrome that affects mental cognitive tasks such as memory and reasoning) causes the person to lose the ability to carry out the simplest tasks.

Jamaica Hospital is committed to raising awareness about Alzheimer’s disease and Dementia through social media and providing medical services to those who are experiencing the signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.

If you or a loved one has questions or concerns and would like to see a medical professional, call Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Ambulatory Care Center for an appointment at 718-206-7001.

To learn more about Alzheimer’s disease, visit www.act.alz.org

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness And Caregivers Month

fingers holding Purple ribbon with HOPE wooden letter, toning, A

The month of November was designated as Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness and Caregivers Month in 1983  by then, President Ronald Reagan.  In 1983, fewer than 2 million Americans had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.  The number of people currently diagnosed and living with the disease has skyrocketed to almost 5.4 million.

Show your commitment to a world without Alzheimer’s by participating in Go Purple during the month of November.

For more information on how you can get involved visit the Alzheimer’s Association website at http://www.alz.org/

 

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.