November is Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness month. Alzheimer’s Disease affects over 6 million Americans, with 3 million new cases diagnosed every year. You or someone you love has most likely experienced the effects of Alzheimer’s, so take this month to reflect on what you can do to support those in your life and prevent the disease.
Mild Cognitive Impairment vs Alzheimer’s Disease
Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is the increase in thinking or memory problems as a person ages. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, less than 1 in 5 Americans know about MCI, which can be an early stage of Alzheimer's and other types of dementia.
It is important to know the symptoms of MCI so that you or your loved ones can notice them. Symptoms of MCI according to the National Institute on Aging (NIA) include:
Losing things often
Forgetting to go to appointments or events
Having more trouble than other people your age coming up with words
Difficulty moving or issues with your sense of smell
Being aware of these symptoms can prompt those worried about their memory issues to see a doctor. The doctor can determine whether the source of the issue is treatable or refer you to a specialist. Learn more about MCI and tips for managing forgetfulness here.
Not everyone who experiences symptoms of MCI develops Alzheimer’s. There is a large percentage of those with MCI whose symptoms either stay the same or improve. There is a chance, however, that people over the age of 65 with MCI can develop Alzheimer’s within one-year. This is why it’s important to recognize the warning signs of Alzheimer’s Disease and differentiate them from MCI.
According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, the symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease include:
Poor judgment leading to bad decisions
Loss of spontaneity and sense of initiative
Taking longer to complete normal daily tasks
Trouble handling money and paying bills
Wandering and getting lost
Losing things or misplacing them in odd places
Mood and personality changes
Increased anxiety and/or aggression
Difficulty with language
If you or a loved one is experiencing these symptoms, talk to a healthcare provider to discuss treatment plans that may include medications, clinicaltrials, or lifestylechanges.
Wellzesta Life is committed to keeping our users living purposefully with a healthy mind and body.
Life encourages physical and mental activity through daily wellness content and Events. Our articles and videos touch on all eight dimensions of wellness to broaden residents’ intellectual and overall well-being to help slow the progression of memory loss.
Click here to learn more about how Wellzesta can help your community.