Mild memory loss is a natural part of senior living. Older adults will sometimes have trouble remembering names or appointments, but will be able to remember them soon after, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. Seniors might have a hard time coming up with certain words on the spot, but it shouldn’t take them too long to recall it in most cases.These issues differ from dementia-related memory loss, and it’s important for older adults and their caregivers to be able to recognize the difference.
That being said, older adults who are concerned that they are experiencing worse-than-normal symptoms of cognitive decline should bring up the issues with a health care provider as soon as possible. Research presented at an international conference on Alzheimer’s suggests that personal worries about cognitive decline could be one of the earliest indicators of dementia, according to NBC news.
Scientists are constantly working to find ways to diagnose Alzheimer’s early on, as doing so could have a big impact on treatment and the rate of decline. Older and middle-aged adults likely know their own brains better than anyone else, meaning that if they think something is amiss with their memory, they may just be right. In fact, researchers from several different countries who studied volunteers in their 70s and 80s found links between self-reported memory issues and indicators of Alzheimer’s disease or cognitive impairment.
The study leaders looked at 200 people who were cognitively healthy and asked them about their concerns about memories. These individuals then had their brains scanned to look for buildup of beta-amyloid, a protein that often indicates an increased risk of Alzheimer’s. Upon analysis of the scans, researchers found that individuals who were most concerned about their memory were also the ones who had the highest levels of beta-amyloid in their brains.
“It’s just now getting appreciated by researchers in the field that we shouldn’t ignore these subjective memory concerns,” Rebecca Amariglio, the lead researcher of the study, told the news source.
If you are concerned about your own memory issues, it’s best to bring up your worries with your primary physician. He or she may be able to run tests that can help determine if you are at risk for cognitive issues such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
Source: Meagan Ray http://www.sunriseseniorliving.com/blog/april-2014/recognizing-memory-loss-issues-could-be-indicator-of-cognitive-decline.aspx