Most People Don’t Know the Symptoms of Early Alzheimer’s Disease

If you’re unfamiliar with the term “mild cognitive impairment,” you’re not alone. More than 80% of Americans are unaware of this disease, which affects up to 18% of people aged 60 and over and can lead to Alzheimer’s disease, according to new research.

Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is an early stage loss of subtle memory or other loss of cognitive ability, such as language or visual/spatial perception, according to research published Tuesday for a report by researchers. Facts and figures about Alzheimer’s disease 2022 of the Alzheimer’s Association.

The signs can be severe enough to be noticed by the affected person and those close to them, but they can also be mild enough that the affected person can maintain their ability to perform most activities of daily living.

Many people confuse this disability with normal aging, but that’s different — about a third of people with mild cognitive impairment develop dementia due to Alzheimer’s disease in five years, according to the survey.

Depending on the type of MCI, the patient may have difficulty remembering conversations, keeping track of things, keeping their train of thought hanging, transiting a generally familiar place, or performing daily tasks such as paying. a bill.

To better understand the awareness, diagnosis, and treatment of MCI in the United States, the Association of Alzheimer’s commissioned a survey of more than 2,400 adults and 801 primary care physicians late last year. Answers to all questions online or by phone.

Over 80% of participants initially had little or no familiarity with CCL. So, when told what the disease was, more than 40% said they feared developing the disease in the future.

“It was surprising to validate that the public and primary care physicians are challenged to distinguish between mild cognitive impairment and what is considered ‘normal aging,'” said Morgan Daven, vice president of systems for the Alzheimer’s Association.”These findings underscore all the work we need to do to continue to educate.”

About 85% of adults said they would like to know early if they have Alzheimer’s disease so they can plan ahead, treat symptoms sooner, take steps to preserve cognitive function, or understand what is happening, according to the survey.

But despite this sense of urgency, these adults were also reluctant to see a professional if they started experiencing symptoms.

Only 40% said they would speak to their doctor immediately if they had symptoms of MCI. Concerns about getting help included the possibility of receiving the wrong diagnosis or treatment, knowledge of a serious health problem, or the belief that symptoms might go away.

What Causes Mild Cognitive Impairment

Several factors can contribute to CCL. Therefore, impairment is more of an umbrella term than a specific condition, according to research.

“It can be caused by reversible things, like vitamin deficiencies or medical conditions like thyroid dysfunction,” said Richard Isaacson, director of the Alzheimer’s Disease Prevention Clinic at the Center for Health at the University. ‘University of California. Brain from Florida Atlantic University’s Schmidt School of Medicine.

“Some causes get better and some get worse. When a person has a madness neurodegenerative diseases obviously tend to regress.

Other possible causes include medication side effects; sleep deprivation; anxiety; neurological or psychiatric disorders; genetic; systemic disorders such as high pressure; stroke or other vascular disease; and head trauma.

In general, the variety of factors, extensive symptoms, and lack of an MCI test can make the diagnosis of MCI difficult and uncomfortable for many clinicians, as the results showed.

protect your brain

When doctors detect MCI, they often recommend lifestyle changes, do lab tests, or refer patients to a specialist, the authors wrote.

“People can take control of their brain health by making active changes in their daily lives,” Isaacson said. “It’s not just about exercise, diet, sleep and stress management, but also medical conditions that primary care physicians can help optimize and treat – such as high blood pressure, hypercholesterolemia and Diabetes”.

“We are not powerless in the fight against memory loss and cognitive decline,” he added.

Even with the fear, seeing a doctor immediately is the most important thing people experiencing cognitive changes can do, Daven said. “Early diagnosis is important and provides the best opportunity for management and treatments.”


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