How to spot a key dementia warning sign
It's natural to worry.
If you feel your mind start to slip... if you notice you're forgetting more than usual... if your "senior moments" seem to last longer than a moment... you can be downright terrified.
Is this it? Is THIS the start of dementia?
Well, my friend, I've got a little good news for you.
If you can recognize that slip -- and if you KNOW something's not quite right -- then odds are, it's NOT a sign of dementia!
New research shines a little light on one key risk factor for the disease, and it reveals that the real problem isn't when your memory fades like an old picture.
It's when your memories slip away and you don't even realize it.
The new study focused on a condition called anosognosia, which is essentially a lack of awareness.
YOU think you're just peachy... but the folks around you know something's up.
When that happens... when you suffer from memory problems and don't know it... you're facing TRIPLE the risk of dementia and Alzheimer's disease.
In the study, researchers questioned some 450 older folks with common forms of mild memory problems. These weren't folks with dementia or anything like that (not yet, anyway). They were still able to take care of themselves and function mostly as normal.
They just had the kinds of cognitive struggles many older folks face.
Then, the researchers questioned the family members of these patients to get a better sense of what's what.
In some cases, the answers matched up pretty well. The older folks knew the extent of their memory loss, and family members confirmed it.
In others, however, the older folks thought they were fine while their family members told a different story.
They were slipping, and they didn't even know it.
Brain scans revealed some other real differences in these folks.
The ones who really had no clue that something was wrong had problems in the brain (including struggles with metabolic function).
More importantly, they had higher levels of the junky amyloid deposits that clog the pathways inside the brain and are often a key warning sign of dementia risk.
Two years later, the real-world results backed up what those brain scans had foreseen: The folks unware of the extent of their memory problems had three times the risk of dementia.
That leaves you with a bit of a Catch-22.
If you THINK something's wrong and WANT help, there's a good chance you may not need it. But if there IS something wrong and you do NEED help, there's just as good a chance that you won't know it.
The key here is to make your family part of your care team. Rely on them to help spot problems and listen when they do, because quick action in the form of natural therapies such as B vitamins and chelation can often prevent or delay the onset of dementia.