aThere is currently no cure for dementia, however, and several scientific findings indicate that degenerative brain diseases can be detected early. This not only helps us realize the potential condition, but also prompts individuals to strengthen their brain health and defenses.
The truth is that when it comes to dementia, it is still impossible to determine who is most likely to develop it. However, a study published in the Times of India of more than 2,000 people showed that individuals’ performance on tests of memory and logical reasoning can reveal differences in people who will have Alzheimer’s up to 18 years before diagnosis.
According to the test, which was completed 13 to 18 years before the end of the study, a lower cognitive test score was found to be associated with an 85% higher risk of dementia. This in turn also suggests that the development of Alzheimer’s disease can begin many years before diagnosis.
Doug Brown, MD, former director of research and development at the Alzheimer’s Association, said, “Dementia often causes changes in the brain years before symptoms appear.”
“This study shows that there may be subtle signs of Alzheimer’s disease in thought and memory for up to 18 years before a formal diagnosis can occur,” he added.
While the doctor explains that these tests are not able to accurately predict who will develop dementia, they can still be used to detect people who may be more likely to develop the disease.
Furthermore, experts point out that there are various differences associated with dementia symptoms. While some can be defined primarily by cognitive changes, others are defined by psychological changes.
Symptoms associated with cognitive impairment include:
- memory loss
- Difficulty finding words or completing a sentence
- Inability to solve problems
- Difficulty coordinating
Symptoms associated with psychological changes are limited to:
- personality changes
Although the natural aging process greatly increases the likelihood of developing the disease, doctors and researchers suggest that the risks can be reduced through regular exercise, a healthy diet and maintaining a positive attitude towards life.
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