New Information about Early Alzheimer’s Detection

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Doctors are excited to have a new tool that may help them detect and treat Alzheimer’s.

Doctors have begun to discover a breakthrough in being able to determine if you are one of those people who are likely to develop Alzheimer’s. There are new tests that you can take and can predict more reliably that you are in that at -risk group. Some people do not want to take these tests, because they do not want to know about impending negative consequences.

However, if you could know twenty years in advance that you may develop a deadly disease, would it not make sense to find out so that you can try to fight an informed fight to help you reposition your health and your life choices in the hopes that you can avoid the disease?  There is now a test that does not cost much and is non -invasive. You can go to your eye doctor for your annual exam and have them do a retinal scan. These scans can help determine that portion of the population that is at risk to develop Alzheimer’s. This is new data. Doctors are excited to have a new tool that may help them crack this dread disease and help both avoid and cure it.  Even though it is scary to be told that you are in the high-risk group, would it not help develop your determination to do all that you could do to avoid the onset of the disease?

Angiography helps distinguish red blood cells from other tissue in your retina and looks at the blood flow patterns in your eyes.  By shining a light into your retina doctors can measure retinal thickness as well as the thickness of fibers in the optic nerve. The ability to measure the thickness and the blood flow revealed that each of the participants with elevated levels of amyloid or tau also had significant thinning in the center of the retina. The theory is that this and the interconnectedness of the retina and the central nervous system are believed to identify early warning signs of Alzheimer’s. If we can identify those at-risk patients, then those patients can take more expensive and more invasive tests to determine whether or not they are in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. Hopefully this will lead us to better knowledge and information that can help us defeat and demolish this dread disease!

Regularly visits (annual) to an Ophthalmologist can help you check your eyes for vision, but also watch for diabetes, macular degeneration and high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Please get in the habit of going to see your eye doctor every year for an exam and ask them about these tests.

There are five different types of dementia, the most significant is Alzheimer’s. (60-80%)

The next most common type of dementia is vascular dementia. This is mostly a result from high blood pressure.

The third most likely is Alcohol related dementia followed by Parkinson’s and frontotemporal dementia.

The three symptoms that warn of oncoming dementia are:

  1. Chronic memory loss
  2. Personality changes
  3. Impaired reasoning

Our Healthcast will discuss all of these and identify some of the causes and some of the symptoms and treatments. Follow our Healthcast to learn more about health-related issues that matter to you!

This Health cast was written and presented by Dr. Kathy Maupin, M.D., Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Expert and Author, with Brett Newcomb, MA., LPC., Family Counselor, Presenter and Author.

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