If you or someone you care about seems to be having a memory problem, consider a Memory Awareness Screening. Such screenings are important because:
- They are a first step towards finding out if you have Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia, or another condition that is causing memory loss.
- Memory screenings can also let you know that you are okay. The screening could turn out to be normal and put your fears to rest.
- A memory screening is not used to diagnose any particular illness and does not replace consultation with a qualified physician or other health care professional. However, a screening can test your memory, language skills, thinking ability and other intellectual functions. It can indicate that you might benefit from more testing.
Memory can be affected by a number of factors, ranging from stress and lack of sleep to such illnesses as Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia.
- Some conditions that cause memory loss – such as vitamin deficiencies, depression, or thyroid problems – are reversible. In general, the earlier the diagnosis, the easier it is to treat these conditions.
- Early recognition of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) – mild intellectual loss that may develop into dementia – provides an opportunity for health care professionals to treat this condition and possibly slow the decline in memory and other functions.
- For irreversible illnesses, such as Alzheimer’s disease, early diagnosis could improve your future health. Although there is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, available and emerging medical treatment may slow the progression of symptoms. These medications have been proven to work best the earlier they are given.
- Early diagnosis can improve quality of life. Individuals can learn more about the disease, get counseling, use support from other social services, address legal and financial issues, and have more to say about their future care.
- Caregivers and other family members can take advantage of community services such as support groups. They can discuss treatment, future care and other issues with the person with memory loss so that everyone is clear about their healthcare choices.
A memory screening is simple, safe, and takes less than fifteen minutes. The person who conducts the screening might suggest that you follow up with a complete checkup by your doctor or other qualified health care professional. People who have a normal memory screening can take their test to their doctor to add to their medical file for future reference. In addition, you can reduce your risk of memory loss by participating in activities that stimulate your mind, exercising regularly, and eating a healthy diet.
For more information about our free Memory Awareness Screenings click here.