Signs for Early-Onset Alzheimer’s

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Have you been more forgetful than normal lately? Don’t worry—most memory issues, especially in young and middle-aged women, are not signs of dementia or Alzheimer’s. Have you been stressed? Increased absentmindedness could simply be due to anxiety and might subside when the stress does. Also, some forgetfulness (drawing a blank on names, losing your keys or glasses) is common and expected as we age. That’s because parts of our brains slowly start to decline in volume, and blood flow to the brain can also decrease.

The time for concern is if you find yourself losing track of the important stuff—you’re getting lost in familiar places, having trouble following directions or becoming confused about dates and times of big life events—possibly making it difficult for you to go about your life. Some people, mainly seniors, with this level of mental decline have what’s called mild cognitive impairment (MCI), meaning they struggle with memory more than normal for their age, but their symptoms are not as severe as those of people with Alzheimer’s disease, and they’re able to carry out their usual daily activities. While folks with MCI are at higher risk of developing dementia later on, some people never get much worse. (There are no proven methods to reverse MCI, but some research suggests that healthy lifestyle choices, like exercising regularly, may help slow cognitive decline.)

 

 

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