Doctors Have New Tool to Help Identify Early Signs of Dementia
While some degree of memory loss can be expected as we age, it is helpful to be able to identify normal aging vs. early signs of dementia. A new scale developed by the Mayo Clinic helps doctors identify those at greatest risk for dementia and Alzheimer’s. With early identification, the hope is that people who are at high risk can seek early intervention and achieve the best possible outcomes through quality memory care.
Recent statistics from the World Health Organization highlight the large numbers of people affected by dementia. There are currently over 47 million people worldwide who have been diagnosed with dementia. Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia. It accounts for 60-70% of all cases. However, only a quarter those who have Alzheimer’s disease have actually been diagnosed. In the United States, it is expected that over 16 million people will have Alzheimer’s disease by the year 2050.
Scale Identifies Signs of Dementia Earlier
With so many people affected by dementia, it is understandable that people who have moments of forgetfulness may wonder if there is a more serious problem. That’s why the new scale from Mayo Clinic can be helpful. It helps provide a checklist to help doctors identify those people who are most at risk for early signs of dementia. After observing almost 1,500 seniors over the course of five years, just over a quarter of the study’s participants developed mild cognitive impairment (MCI.) Researchers used their observations to develop a scale to help indicate a person’s risk of developing dementia.
Factors included on the scoring system are:
- History of anxiety
- History of depression
- Highest level of education completed
- History of smoking
- History of stroke
- Presence of APOE gene
- A slow gait
Study authors are hopeful their new scale will provide an inexpensive way for doctors to identify the people who need additional memory screening. It may also help identify those people who are good candidates for clinical trials.
Parc Provence is Dedicated to Quality Memory Care
With almost 6 million Americans currently living with Alzheimer’s, we are encouraged by all efforts to better identify and treat memory disorders. We know how dementia affects both individuals and their loved ones, and we are here to help.
If you or someone you love is interested in assisted living or skilled nursing with the finest memory care available, consider Parc Provence. Our award-winning design feels like home and encourages residents to participate in interesting and engaging daily activities. Our focus on Person-Centered Care allows Parc Provence residents to retain dignity, enjoy life, and have of peace of mind. Contact us today to learn more.