While there is no cure for dementia, catching it early may delay major damage to the brain. That is why it is important to watch carefully for early signs of dementia in your loved ones – forgetting dates and times and misplacing objects they would not normally misplace.
Losing your memory is not necessarily a normal sign of aging. If your loved one is frequently forgetting appointments or an object’s location, it is important that you bring him or her to the doctor. Your provider can perform several screening tests in the office, and if those tests show there may be a problem, they can order other tests to confirm the diagnosis, i.e. imaging studies and blood tests.
“Lifestyle changes have been shown to prevent progression of memory loss. Including cognitive and physical, socializing, and eating a heart healthy diet,” says Andrew Godbey, MD, MSPH, neurologist at Saint Francis Healthcare System.
If you do discover your loved one has Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia, your doctor may be able to prescribe medications that can delay its progress for two or three years.