It is estimated that about 5.1 million Americans may have Alzheimer’s disease. This study is implying that some of these individuals may not even know they have the disease or may not be undergoing treatment. It is important that you understand the signs of this disease and some of the modern ways of diagnosing this ailment.
A Few Signs of Alzheimer’s
The first thing that you should remember is that Alzheimer’s is more common with people who are above the age of 65, though there are some younger people who deal with the problem.
One of the common symptoms of this ailment is obvious difficulty thinking or understanding something the person would have before. Other people seem to suffer from confusion later on in the day, but their thinking is usually clearer when they first wake up. Some people seem to have trouble remembering recent events more than usual.
There are also people whose behavior changes, which could include issues with aggression, agitation, lack of social graces or restraint, apathy, or mood swings.
Someone suffering from this ailment may even have trouble combining muscle movements, which usually causes jumbled speech.
Modern Ways of Diagnosing Alzheimer’s
What you want to do is find out if you or someone you love has Alzheimer’s disease as soon as possible to ensure that treatment starts right away.
Diagnosis is not as easy as you might want it to be because there is no concrete test that can tell a doctor that you or someone you love has the ailment. There are some promising tests, but they still require additional testing to ensure accuracy.
One of the test that might be available in the future is a blood test, which will be measuring 10 lipids. It seems that people with this ailment have a high level of 10 lipids as opposed to people without this issue. You can talk to your doctor to keep up with this particular test.
For now, your doctor, along with a neurologist, will employ other tests that have been proven to be successful. This includes a complete evaluation of mental cognitive functions, which will test memory and behavioral changes. The neurologist will also carefully review you or your loved one’s medical history for clues that might help detect early onset symptoms.
These tests will be paired with interviews with family members, close friends, and other associates of yours or your loved one’s. The neurologist and your doctor need to have a full picture of who you were before these symptoms first appeared and how they are affecting you now. This makes it easier to diagnose changes. It may seem invasive, but it is absolutely necessary to properly evaluate your situation.
The neurologist may also order medical brain-imaging tests to expose any possible lesions or other tell-signs in the brain itself. Plus, this will help the doctors rule out other possible problems that exhibit similar symptoms. Ruling out other ailments is a big part of diagnosing Alzheimer’s. Your doctors will test B-12 levels as well as any thyroid issues, which may be related to the symptoms.
A full psychological evaluation might also be recommended to ensure that depression or other mental issues are not culprits of you or your loved one’s current situation.
You should understand that this issue is hard to diagnose because there are many other diseases that trigger similar effects. Your doctors have to be sure they are not dealing with another problem to ensure that you receive the right treatment. Some of the other issues that could trigger similar symptoms include strokes, hemorrhages, brain tumors, degenerative brain issues, or even Parkinson’s disease, and that is just to name a few. All of these problems are very dangerous and need to be dealt with properly as soon as possible.
You should not take these symptoms lightly because they can be very serious. They can be a warning of Alzheimer’s but also of other ailments that are just as dangerous or even life-threating. Be sure to talk to your medical care specialist as soon as you can so that he or she can help you get to the bottom of your symptoms or your loved one’s symptoms. This will help you get treatment right away if necessary.Read more