Navigation Links
Alzheimer's Foundation of America Survey: Americans With Memory Concerns Fall Short of Talking to Doctors
Date:7/30/2008

NEW YORK, July 30 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- An overwhelming number of Americans with memory concerns fail to report this health issue with their doctors despite visits within the past six months, according to results released today of a survey of participants in the Alzheimer's Foundation of America (AFA) National Memory Screening Day last November.

AFA announced the results at a poster session at the Alzheimer's Association's 11th International Conference on Alzheimer's Disease in Chicago.

"The results highlight a significant hole in our healthcare system," said Eric J. Hall, AFA's president and chief executive officer. "They re-confirm our fears that this issue is being swept under the carpet and not being talked about with professionals. An open dialogue is essential to proper diagnosis and treatment."

Richard E. Powers, M.D., chairman of AFA's Medical Advisory Board, said he is particularly concerned because the aging population is at increased risk of memory issues.

"Not all memory complaints mark Alzheimer's disease, but if they do, the earlier an individual knows, the earlier he or she can be treated, plan for the future and embrace social services support. This is a window of opportunity to delay cognitive decline and thereby improve quality of life for individuals with the disease and their families," he said.

The survey involved 2,178 adults who took advantage of free confidential memory screenings at community sites nationwide as part of AFA's National Memory Screening Day on November 13, 2007, an annual initiative aimed at promoting proper detection of memory concerns, including Alzheimer's disease and related dementia, and providing education about memory issues and successful aging.

Of the respondents, 68.1 percent self-reported memory complaints, but only 21.1 percent had discussed them with their healthcare providers. This failure to communicate occurred despite recent visits to their primary care physician; of those with memory concerns, 40.3 percent had seen their primary care physician within the last month, and 44.3 percent had an appointment within the last six months.

Failure to report memory symptoms to the respondent's physician was independent of gender, age, ethnicity or educational background.

In addition, 21 percent said they kept the concerns entirely to themselves. Those who shared their complaints did so with a spouse (41.2 percent), friend (30 percent) or adult child (25.5 percent).

The median age of respondents was 72. While age poses the greatest risk for Alzheimer's disease, affecting mostly people aged 65 and older, the survey also found that those who came in for screenings had other healthcare concerns that are known risk factors for the brain disorder. Among them, 18.3 percent reported that they are depressed; 16.4 percent have diabetes; and 14.4 percent said they are obese.

"Americans need to step up their efforts to optimize overall health, including brain health. The threat of Alzheimer's disease and co-existing conditions is too great to ignore," Powers emphasized.

Asked why participants came in for a screening, 32.3 percent said they were forgetful and 40.6 percent wanted to establish a baseline.

Currently, AFA is gearing up for its 6th annual National Memory Screening Day, which will be held on November 18. Free confidential screenings will be available nationwide at various community sites, including the entire chain of 1,100 Kmart pharmacies, local Alzheimer's agencies, senior and community centers, assisted living facilities, adult day centers, and doctor's offices. For information, visit http://www.nationalmemoryscreening.org.

The event is the focal point of AFA's year-round advocacy efforts to promote proper diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer's disease and related dementias, and successful aging. It is overseen by AFA's Memory Screening Advisory Board, composed of top experts and chaired by John Wesson Ashford, Jr., M.D., senior research scientist at the Stanford/VA Aging Clinical Research Center, Palo Alto, CA.

AFA urges anyone concerned about changes in their memory or other mental functions to visit a local screening site. Warning signs include: forgetting people's names and events, asking repetitive questions, loss of verbal or written skills, confusion over daily routines, and erratic mood swings.

The face-to-face screening takes about five to ten minutes to complete and consists of a series of simple questions and tasks. It is administered by a qualified healthcare professional, such as a physician, nurse, psychologist, pharmacist, or social worker. It is not a diagnosis, and healthcare professionals encourage those with abnormal scores as well as those who still have concerns to pursue a full medical exam. Follow up with a primary care physician or other clinician may reveal that the person is suffering from a reversible condition such as a vitamin deficiency or thyroid problem, or from an irreversible disorder like Alzheimer's disease.

The Alzheimer's Foundation of America is a national nonprofit organization headquartered in New York and made up of more than 950 member organizations that provide hands-on programs to meet the educational, emotional, practical and social needs of families affected by Alzheimer's disease and related illnesses. AFA's services include a toll-free hot line, counseling, educational materials, a free caregiver magazine, and professional training. For information, call (toll-free) 866-AFA-8484 or visit http://www.alzfdn.org.


'/>"/>
SOURCE Alzheimer's Foundation of America
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine technology :

1. Michael J. Fox Foundation Funds $1.1 Million for Cutting-Edge Approaches to Parkinsons Disease Under Rapid Response Innovation Awards 2008
2. Michael J. Fox Foundation Awards $2.7 Million for Industry Efforts to Speed New Parkinsons Therapeutics
3. Michael J. Fox Foundation Awards $2.4 Million for Validation of Nine Promising Therapeutic Targets for Parkinsons Disease
4. PTC Therapeutics Announces $25 Million Award From Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Therapeutics for Development of PTC124
5. Childrens Brain Tumor Foundations Tissue Bank Consortium May Solve Dire Problem in Pediatric Cancer Research
6. The Foundation for Biomedical Research Announces Winners of the 7th Annual Michael E. DeBakey Journalism Awards
7. Canopus BioPharma Strengthens its CB1400 Platform Technology for Mucositis and Oncology Treatments Through License Agreement With Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation
8. Quantum Immunologics, Inc. and the South Alabama Medical Science Foundation Announce an Early Clinical Evaluation of a Novel Immuno-therapeutic Vaccine for Treating Advanced Human Breast Carcinomas
9. Statement From the Lupus Foundation of America Regarding the Release of Top-Line Results From a Study of Rituxan for the Treatment of Lupus
10. The COSHAR Foundation Launches National Childhood Immunization Awareness Campaign During National Infant Immunization Week (April 19-26)
11. Michael J. Fox Foundation Announces $5.6-Million Award for Phase 2 Clinical Trial Studying Neuroprotective Potential of Inosine
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/8/2016)... Feb. 8, 2016 http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/x6mkjm/knee ... "Knee Reconstruction Devices Market by Product Type (Primary ... Geography (U.S., Canada, Eu-5, Japan, Bric, Turkey, Indonesia ... report to their offering. --> ... "Knee Reconstruction Devices Market by Product Type ...
(Date:2/8/2016)...  The University of Michigan Health System in ... part of the development of four new operating rooms, ... the U.S. to start using new top-of-the-line neurosurgical imaging ... of neurosurgery. --> Karin Muraszko , ... The BrightMatter technology from Synaptive Medical – a highly ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... DUBLIN , Feb. 8, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... announced the addition of the "Label-Free ... Global Forecasts to 2020" report to ... has announced the addition of the ... - Global Forecasts to 2020" report ...
Breaking Medicine Technology:
(Date:2/8/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... February 08, 2016 , ... ... launched its newly redesigned website, federallabs.org . The site houses a wealth ... license available federal technologies through the process called technology transfer (T2). As a ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... ... February 08, 2016 , ... A man who has struggled to quit smoking, a ... Therapy , was determined to find solutions to his problems – and he did. Now ... is ready to introduce his breakthrough inventions to the world and better people's lives. ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... ... 08, 2016 , ... The Bell Agency, a full service ... of their ongoing community enrichment program. The current campaign fundraises for Angels & ... now being accepted at: http://www.angelsanddoves.com/donate.html . , Angels & Doves was founded ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... , ... February 08, 2016 , ... ... co-occur frequently. While a significant number of women and men with eating disorders ... trauma itself, that best predicts the development of an eating disorder. , ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... ... February 08, 2016 , ... TopConsumerReviews.com recently awarded their highest ... products. , Moles are derived from a cluster of melanin when exposed to sunlight. ... places and create a lifetime of embarrassment. Historically, mole removal has involved ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):