Alzheimer's Early Stages: First Steps for Family, Friends by Daniel Kuhn

By Daniel Kuhn

This version comprises the most recent info on Alzheimer’s possibility elements, remedies, and prevention, in addition to a brand new bankruptcy, “Voices of Experience,” composed of reflections by means of kin. It additionally presents information regarding new medicines authorized when you consider that 1999 and the federal government’s selection to hide counseling and different health-related providers via Medicare.

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Extra resources for Alzheimer's Early Stages: First Steps for Family, Friends and Caregivers

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Forgetfulness may be easily overlooked as part of the human experience. After all, there are so many minute details to remember that the brain naturally filters out trivia. However, these incidents eventually become part of a disturbing pattern, indicating AD. In the early stages, the affected person may be able to remember certain trivial details while forgetting matters of great importance, or vice-versa. Loved ones may rationalize these memory lapses as random blips when, in fact, they may be the initial signs of the disease.

In some instances, it may take an “outsider” to recognize that seemingly disconnected incidents are part of a medical problem such as AD. It is like the pieces of a puzzle coming together. My interviews with family members and friends of people with AD illustrate these common themes: a pattern of memory loss in the person with AD coupled with puzzled reactions in close family and friends. The following excerpts are taken from conversations with family members who were asked to recount their initial awareness of a loved one’s memory problem: George described how he first became aware of his wife’s memory problem about four years before her diagnosis of AD at age seventy-six: She was having a problem with remembering names that I thought was excessive, even for an older person.

Specialized diagnostic clinics can be found at all of the AD centers in the United States funded by the National Institute on Aging (see Resources in the back). Many states also provide funding for other diagnostic centers. These centers and local chapters of the Alzheimer’s Association in the United States or the Alzheimer Society in Canada can refer you to a specialty clinic or other known experts in your area. DISCLOSING THE DIAGNOSIS After tests have ruled out reversible causes of dementia and the established criteria for AD have been met, the physician should sensitively explain the test results, diagnosis, and treatment options to the individual who has been tested, you, and any others close to the situation.

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