Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Memory Screenings Encouraged This November as Part of National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month

(Alzheimer’s Foundation of America)

NEW YORK — Memory screenings are an important part of a good health and wellness routine for everyone, and as part of National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month this November, the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA) is reminding everyone to prioritize their brain health and get a memory screening.

“Annual screenings are important, including for our brains, which is why everyone should make getting a memory screening a priority during Alzheimer’s Awareness Month and throughout the year,” said Charles J. Fuschillo Jr., AFA’s President & CEO. “Just as we regularly check other facets of our health, we should all get a checkup from the neck up, regardless of whether or not we are having memory problems.”

According to AFA, memory screenings are an important first step toward early detection of memory issues. Screenings take just a few minutes and are noninvasive, consisting of a series of questions to gauge memory, language, thinking skills and other intellectual functions. The organization cautions results are not a diagnosis of any particular condition, but a memory screening can suggest if someone should see a physician for a full evaluation.

“You are never too young or too old to get a memory screening and be more proactive about your brain health,” said Donna de Levante Raphael, Director of AFA’s National Memory Screening Program. “Many people don’t think about their cognitive health when they get their regular medical checkups. If you are 65 years or older, a memory screening is a part of your Medicare Annual Wellness Visit. It is very important to make sure you keep your mind sharp, and there are many ways to do that in order to combat cognitive decline. I always remind people that the first step is to get a screening to see if there might be any memory issues. It is better to know early rather than later.”

Alzheimer’s disease currently affects more than 6.2 million Americans, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that number will more than double by 2060.

People experiencing memory loss or cognitive decline may be reluctant, embarrassed or in denial about seeking help, but early detection of memory issues is essential, according to AFA. If the memory issues are caused by Alzheimer’s disease, early detection affords greater opportunities to begin medications sooner to slow the progression of disease symptoms, participate in a clinical trial, take advantage of therapeutic programming, and have an active role in developing your care, health, legal and financial plans.

Just as important, it adds not all memory issues are caused by Alzheimer’s disease. Vitamin deficiencies, thyroid problems, urinary tract infections, sleep apnea, discoverdentalhouston.com/ambien-zolpidem/ and depression are examples of conditions that can cause memory impairments—and all are treatable or curable — but you can’t address them if you aren’t aware that they exist.

To schedule a free virtual memory screening appointment, or for more information about brain health and lifestyle choices that can help promote healthy aging, visit AFA’s website at alzfdn.org or call AFA’s Helpline at 866-232-8484 seven days a week.

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