Alzheimer s Disease: Know the Symptoms and Speak to Your Doctor
Forgetfulness or memory lapses are common and normal. But, when memory loss becomes more persistent or worsens and affects your ability to function, you should consider talking to a physician.
Alzheimer s disease is the most common cause of dementia, explains Nima Mowzoon, M.D., neurologist. Because there isn t a cure, it is important to see a physician as soon as possible to ensure appropriate diagnosis and to begin treatment.
While there isn t a specific test to confirm Alzheimer s disease, doctors can use physical and neurological exams, blood tests, mental status testing, neuropsychological testing and brain imaging including CT, MRI or PET scans to aid in diagnosis.
Based on the review of symptoms and other information that the patient and his or her family provide, as well as the tests mentioned, we make a judgment whether the patient has dementia due to Alzheimer s disease, Dr. Mowzoon says. The progression of the disease is different for everyone, so it is important to take notice of changes even mild confusion or moderate difficulty remembering things and see a doctor as soon as possible.
Memory loss is the main symptom most people think of when it comes to Alzheimer s disease, Dr. Mowzoon says, but the disease also affects:
- Speaking and writing
- Thinking and reasoning
- The ability to make judgments and decisions
- Planning and performing familiar tasks
- Orientation and spatial relationships
Once diagnosed with Alzheimer s disease, treatment includes medication to help slow the progression of memory and cognition symptoms. Exercise, nutrition, stress reduction and management; and social engagement, stimulation and support also help preserve mental function, improve mood and promote overall health.
Nima Mowzoon, M.D.
Florida Neurology Group
12670 Whitehall Drive
Fort Myers, FL 33907