Signs of Alzheimer's Disease

December 21, 2008 7:15:32 AM PST
Many times, family get-togethers can help spot potential health problems. In fact, the Alzheimer's Association receives 30-percent more calls over the holidays. Virginia Iacovitti, of Doylestown, Pennsylvania, said her husband Nick has always been sharp. He was a guidance counselor and she, a teacher, before they retired. When he turned 65, she noticed a change and said Nick wasn't remembering things.

"Just remembering the name of an object, if he was telling me something, he couldn't quite remember what he wanted to tell me," she said.

Nick was later diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease. Dr. Barry Rovner of Jefferson University's Hospital for Neuroscience said although there is no cure for the disease, the earlier it's treated, the better the treatment works.

"I think you want to treat as early as you can because the brain will be preserved longer," he said, adding that if someone has an aging spouse or parent, don't ignore signs of problems such as increasingly forgetting words or misplacing things. "People do forget words and misplace their glasses, it's when those things happen frequently and start to interfere with your life that it's a problem," he said.

Virginia said getting a diagnosis helped them understand what was happening. She can't tell if the drugs are working but said they're not hurting.

Plus, they stay busy- physically, socially and mentally. "We have hardly any free time at all," Virginia said. And studies show that can help prevent Alzheimers in some people and for people already affected, it can help slow down the regression.

"So you can actually change your brain by doing these activities," Dr. Rovner said.

About 5- million Americans have Alzheimer's Disease and millions more are affected by it. For more information and signs and symptoms, visit:

Alzheimer's Association

www.seethesigns.com


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