Before the end of Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month, we think it’s important to acknowledge that over 55 million people around the world live with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia. Some may not even realize they have a memory issue. And while it’s true that some people may be at higher risk, it’s crucial to understand that anyone can develop Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Recent studies have shown that the chances of developing a form of dementia actually double every five years if you’re between 65 to 90 years old.
A certain degree of memory loss is natural as we age, but early signs of cognitive decline can go unnoticed. Luckily, the earlier you can get a memory screening, the more you’ll know about any risks. At the Lehigh Center for Clinical Research, we offer memory screenings from experienced professionals so you and your loved ones can stay healthy and aware. But what exactly is a memory screening, and what are the benefits of getting one early?
What is Memory Screening?
Memory screening is an evaluative process used to help figure out if you are at risk for a memory problem or other critical thinking skills. Screenings usually consist of a series of questions and/or tasks made to test your memory, thinking skills, capability with language, and other cognitive functions. It doesn’t usually take longer than 10 to 15 minutes.
The screener could ask you to count backwards, recall certain words, or write a sentence. After the evaluation, an administrator usually goes over the results with you. If memory screening shows evidence of cognitive decline, it is then extremely important to find out the cause of the problem by setting up a diagnostic visit with your doctor.
It’s crucial to note that memory screens do not diagnose any specific medical condition or illness. They are designed to determine if you may need further evaluation.
Benefits of Early Memory Screening
At the start, getting an early memory screen can give you a baseline score for future evaluations. A follow-up diagnosis might also help reduce anxiety for those who fear their memory loss is a sign of dementia. Essentially, it could be the result of other environmental, genetic, or behavioral factors that only show up in further diagnostic work.
Alternatively, getting an early screening gives you more knowledge about your current situation and any risks, thereby helping you take charge of your brain health. This allows you to make lifestyle changes, such as diet and exercise, that may impact your memory.
Where Can I Get an Early Memory Screening?
Locally, in the Allentown, PA area, you can get an in-person memory screening at the Lehigh Center for Clinical Research. Deciding to get a memory screening will equip you with more knowledge about whether your forgetfulness is something you need to be paying closer attention to, and whether you’re at risk for developing Alzheimer’s in the future. You can get a screening done at The Lehigh Center for free, and see a board-certified physician for free as well. Read on here to learn more.