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When Should You Test for Alzheimer's?

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It can be tough to separate the symptoms of Alzheimer's from normal forgetfulness. Often, you may find yourself debating whether or not it's the right time to get tested for Alzheimer's or dementia. Every person is unique, and Alzheimer's can present itself in many different ways. Nevertheless, these are some very critical signs that you (or a loved one) should immediately get tested for Alzheimer's.

Family History

If you have a family history of Alzheimer's, it becomes even more imperative that you get tested once you begin noticing symptoms. Though it's not yet fully known what causes Alzheimer's, there does appear to be some form of genetic or familial component.

Feeling Forgetful

Some people are just naturally forgetful. Those with Alzheimer's, however, will often be haunted by the feeling that they forget things more often. You may feel confused about what you are doing, or that you lose your train of thought quite quickly. You may find yourself standing in a room and be unable to remember why. All of these things are not only signs of Alzheimer's but could also be potentially dangerous.

Difficulty With Daily Tasks

It can be difficult to determine your mental state. Instead, you may need to look for outward signs that Alzheimer's may be impacting you. If the daily tasks that you usually complete without a problem aren't being finished anymore, it's possible that you're finding your mind wander. This includes tasks such as forgetting to do the laundry on a particular day, failing to buy groceries you know you needed or missing group events that you often attend.

Difficulty Expressing Yourself

Many aging adults find themselves with "tip of the tongue" syndrome - when you know that there's a word you want to use, but you can't quite grasp it. If you notice this happening more often, it's possible that it's a symptom of forgetfulness. This difficulty expressing yourself may also extend to writing letters and leaving notes.

Anxiety in Social Situations

One of the most commonly noticed signs of Alzheimer's is a sudden onset of agoraphobia. You may begin to feel anxious in social situations, and you may stop leaving the house. After all, it can be frightening to be in another location if you can't reliably remember where you are. If you find yourself hesitating before you go out the door, it may be indicative of a larger problem.

Your Moods Are Changing Frequently

Those with Alzheimer's will often experience rapid move changes, including anxiety and frustration. If you find yourself snapping at others more often or being more impatient, you could be in the early stages of Alzheimer's. This irritability often occurs not only due to Alzheimer's itself but because of the frustration in not being able to remember things or complete tasks.

Alzheimer's is a serious disease, but there have been many advancements in treatment within the past decade alone. Getting tested for Alzheimer's is the first step in addressing its symptoms and slowing the progression of the disease. With a combination of health, activity, and medications, many aging adults will be able to combat the symptoms of Alzheimer's for many years.

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