The Importance of Early Diagnosing Alzheimer's Disease
Alzheimer's disease is a degenerative brain disorder, and is the most common form of dementia, according to the Alzheimer's Association. Anywhere between 60-80 percent of dementia patients suffer specifically from Alzheimer's disease. This can result in impaired memory and a decreasing ability to communicate or perform daily tasks. Consulting with physicians early can be important for any patient exhibiting symptoms associated with Alzheimer's to develop an appropriate care plan.
Alzheimer's disease can be very difficult for patients and their families, and presently there is no known cure for preventing or reversing the effects of the disease.
One reason Alzheimer's is important to diagnose as early is possible is that a patient may show signs and indicators of the disease while suffering from a different condition. The Alzheimer's Association reported that as many as 9 percent of people with dementia-like symptoms suffer from a separate issue entirely. Problems in the thyroid or general depression can lead to behaviors associated with Alzheimer's. Likewise, vitamin deficiencies, certain medications and alcohol abuse may cause similar symptoms. For that reason, consulting with a doctor is critically important for an accurate detection.
Getting a proper diagnosis is also important for those who are in fact living with the disease. According to Alzheimer's Disease International, establishing the right disorder early on is important for choosing the right treatment plan. A positive diagnosis of Alzheimer's can be quite concerning, but it can minimize anxiety and fear, as well as give patients and their families the means of selecting the right plan of action.
One of the reasons early diagnosis of Alzheimer's is important is that it gives patients and families time to prepare. The Alzheimer's Association stated that it is important for anyone living with the disease to discuss the future with their family and loved ones. This may include legal and financial considerations, as well as decisions about transportation and living options associated with Alzheimer's care.
By preparing early, anyone living with Alzheimer's can develop the right strategy for coping with the disease and making life as comfortable and normal as possible. An early diagnosis allows care providers and family members an opportunity to provide support when coming up with a plan. Likewise, family and friends can seek support themselves.