Over 6 million people in North America have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, a degenerative disease that affects parts of the brain that control thought, memory and language. Alzheimer’s begins with a temporary loss of memory, and with time, symptoms such as memory, recognizing family and friends or speaking, writing or reading get worse. Eventually, victims require round-the-clock care.
Alzheimer’s disease and dementia does not happen overnight. It is preceded by years – as much as two decades, according to experts – of decline in memory and cognition. If this decline can be spotted early enough, there is still time to preserve and protect your brain from further decline.
Is it a senior moment – or something more?
Most memory lapses, such as forgetting a name or misplacing your car keys, are a natural part of aging. In addition, signs of mental impairment and Alzheimer’s resemble those of other conditions, such as a vitamin B12 or folic acid deficiency, depression, or the side effects of prescription medications.
If you, a friend or family member notice what may be symptoms of alzheimer’s, get the help of a trained medical professional. Of course, many fear their memory is failing, but are embarrassed to discuss their concerns with a doctor. That’s where a quick and simple home test can be so helpful. Here’s why…
Early detection is so important because if Alzheimer’s or dementia can be slowed or delayed with readily available prevention measures for two or three years, one has gained the gift of independence and quality of life for those years. Experts say delaying the onset of Alzheimer’s by five years could halve the number who die with the disease! Over 90 percent of those with Alzheimer’s are diagnosed four years after the first symptoms are noticed. By then, it can be too late to slow or delay the disease.
Fortunately, researchers at Oxford University, led by Dr. Celeste de Jaeger, have developed a simple online test that can identify symptoms of Alzheimer’s in people as young as 50 years, when it’s still possible to take preventive steps to protect the brain. As Alzheimer’s expert Professor David Smith, also of Oxford, stated, “Alzheimer’s is a preventable disease, not an inevitable part of the aging process.
Rather than leaving it until too late, the trick is to identify any decline in memory function as early as possible and take the necessary prevention steps. Research has shown that a combination of specific B vitamins, with dietary and lifestyle changes, can greatly reduce the rate at which your brain shrinks and your memory worsens.”
The Cognitive Function Test, found online at www.foodforthebrain.org, is free. It take about 15 minutes, and assesses the degree of mild cognitive impairment that could indicate the onset of Alzheimer’s.
In a related study, Professor Smith found a simple combination of B vitamins (20mg vitamin B6, 800mcg vitamin B9, or folic acid and 500mcg of B12) can reduce damaging homocysteine levels in the body. That can cut the brain shrinkage that is a part of aging, and reduce memory loss and cognitive impairment.
The test is free, and it could save you from Alzheimer’s. If you’re over 50, don’t wait, take it now!