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Question
Posted by: zeta | 2010-10-13

alzheimer''s

as the alzheimer''s expert doesn''t answer, can you help?
My dad developed alzheimer''''s in his 70''''s even though he was of a cheerful disposition, still working part-time, socially active, did all the things they say you should do to avoid it. I am terrified that am heading the same way even though I am only 59 (female). Who knows, my dad could have started that early but didn''t realise it. I am not able to concentrate as well as I used to, I don''t learn new things as quickly, I lose my car in parking lots, I switch off during social conversations so that I miss half of them, I find all intellectual pursuits more of a challenge than before when they used to be second nature to me. I am still able to understand as well as before but I really have this feeling that my previously high intelligence is falling away. I know that I must look after my health, exercise, learn new things and so on. Is there a neurological examination or other test I can have to see why my brain is slipping up? Whatever it is, I want to catch it early.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Gosh, I hope the Alzheimer's expert hasn't begun forgetting things, too.
A cheerful disposition doesn't protect one from Alzheimer's, of course, though it may leave one a more pleasant person to deal with as the disease progresses.
Remaining socially and mentally active MAY help postpone or reduce the risk of ordinary senility ( the normal falling off of mental function with age ). But Alzheimers is a brain disease, and not preventable by these methods. There is no cure for it, but there are drugs which if taken relatively early in the disorder, help to slow its progress to a useful extent.
Your complaints I can understand would be worrying for you, though they may well be being caused by the anxiety itself and the stress of worrying about him.
A good clinical psychologist or neuropsychologist could do a range of tests to check on your brain function and probably could reassure you that you're doing OK. A neurologist would be able to test better the functions of the nerves and other functions rather than the areas of function you are talking about.

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Our users say:
Posted by: cybershrink | 2010-10-13

Gosh, I hope the Alzheimer's expert hasn't begun forgetting things, too.
A cheerful disposition doesn't protect one from Alzheimer's, of course, though it may leave one a more pleasant person to deal with as the disease progresses.
Remaining socially and mentally active MAY help postpone or reduce the risk of ordinary senility ( the normal falling off of mental function with age ). But Alzheimers is a brain disease, and not preventable by these methods. There is no cure for it, but there are drugs which if taken relatively early in the disorder, help to slow its progress to a useful extent.
Your complaints I can understand would be worrying for you, though they may well be being caused by the anxiety itself and the stress of worrying about him.
A good clinical psychologist or neuropsychologist could do a range of tests to check on your brain function and probably could reassure you that you're doing OK. A neurologist would be able to test better the functions of the nerves and other functions rather than the areas of function you are talking about.

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