Early warning signs of dementia

Alan Wu

July 29, 2011

Ongoing dementia research is uncovering more information about the disease, and many scientists believe a cure is not far away. More than 5.4 million Americans are currently living with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, and the disease tends to affect spatial comprehension. This can increase the risk of falls and other injuries, in which case medical alert systems could come in handy in the event an older adult is injured while they are alone.

“Things are heading earlier and earlier,” Dr. Allen Levey, the chair of neurology at Emory University School of Medicine, told CNN. “And the use of biomarkers has been really essential for helping everybody move toward an understanding of what the earliest changes are and when they can be detected.”

There are common warning signs that an individual may be developing the disease, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. Minor memory loss and confusion, especially when it comes to recently learned information such as names and dates, may indicate the beginning of the loss of cognitive function. Other indicators may be if an older adult has difficulty finding the right words or using the wrong names to describe objects or sees their own reflection in a mirror and thinks someone else is in the room.

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