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

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.


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SOURCE Alzheimer's Foundation of America
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