On this special day of the year, I always used to look forward to Bob Hope’s Christmas Specials. If you’re like me…and you fondly remember Mr. Hope singing, “thanks for the memories” to sign off every show, you too may be getting to the age when you’re concerned about memory. And as I mentioned yesterday, recent research indicates you are the best expert there is when it comes to early detection of Alzheimer’s disease (AD).
And that’s great news. Because early detection is crucial with AD. And the sooner you spot the problem, the sooner you can do something about it. In fact, keep reading and I’ll tell you more about a natural powerhouse that can help prevent and slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.
But first, take this short quiz. It will help you assess the difference between normal, age-related memory loss and cognitive decline due to Alzheimer’s disease.
1. Are all new signs of memory lapses significant for dementia?
It’s very typical to forget names, dates, and appointments as you get older. These “signs” may be part of a lifelong pattern. These changes have more to do with neural organization than degeneration. But if you have to ask for the same information, over and over, that is not typical. Also, take note if you need to rely more heavily on memory aids. Or, do you frequently forget regular dates, like the day of the week the trash truck comes?
2. If I misplace objects more often, is that an early sign of dementia?
Answer: It depends.
Misplacing objects frequently is more likely due to distraction rather than dementia. But if you frequently have to replace missing eyeglasses, checkbooks, keys, jackets, etc. it’s time to get a formal cognitive assessment. In addition, if you find lost objects in strange places, that can also signal cognitive decline. For example, if you find your car keys in the bathroom cabinet or in the dishwasher.
3. Which speech pattern is a sign of dementia?
a. speaking clearly and concisely
b. rambling on, frequently forgetting words or phrases
c. not recalling a word or two
d. all of the above
Forgetting a word or searching for the right word is a typical part of everyday life. But consistently struggling with the same word or words repeatedly is a sign of cognitive decline.
4. Which is a sign of cognitive decline?
a. Taking a wrong turn in a familiar area
b. Getting lost driving in a new area using a map
c. Never having any idea where you are unless using a GPS device to tell you
d. Frequently getting lost in familiar areas
Getting lost in familiar places while walking or driving is a strong sign of cognitive decline. But remember to check on the many cognitive side effects from drugs, which may be responsible and are reversible. This problem happens especially among older adults who take multiple drugs.
5. I habitually miss bill payments and appointments. Does this mean I might have Alzheimer’s disease?
Answer: Again, it depends.
Missing appointments and bill payments can happen to anyone at any age. But an increased pattern can signal a decline in cognitive function. However, these lapses can also happen with mood dysfunction. So, take this question to a deeper level…does it take you much longer to pay the bills or work on your budget? Or do you now have trouble adding a group of numbers accurately? These changes may indicate a problem with cognition.
6. It takes me longer to complete routine tasks. Isn’t this just normal aging?
Answer: Maybe not.
Studies show that when you multitask, you actually work more slowly. So don’t try to balance your checkbook while watching TV and talking on the phone. It will take you longer. If you want to finish more quickly, focus your efforts on one activity at a time. If you still have trouble performing a single routine task like following a favorite recipe, it may signal more significant memory problems.
7. I react to everyday stresses with greater anxiety, anger, depression, and/or mood swings than ever before. Is this a normal part of aging?
Typically, we learn to handle emotions better as we age. But some people never learn. And in some, exaggerated emotional responses may indicate the onset of progressive cognitive decline. People with Alzheimer’s disease rely on routines to go about their day. They may become irritable or uncomfortable when their routine changes for any reason. As a result, they may begin to withdraw from social experiences they once enjoyed.
If any of the scenarios above sound familiar, don’t ignore them! Talk about your concerns with friends and family.
And the sooner you act, the better!
In fact, new research shows that one natural powerhouse may hold the key to preventing and even slowing the progression of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.
Subscribers to my newsletter can learn all about this potent plant extract in a FREE report called The Insider’s Answer for Dodging Dementia. If you aren’t yet a subscriber to my Insiders’ Cures newsletter, now is the perfect time to get started.