Recognizing early warning signs of dementia

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Recognizing warning signs of dementia and other neurological conditions early may be the key to preventing an illness or slowing its progression.

A study conducted at the University of Cambridge has demonstrated that it is possible to observe signs of dementia in people as early as nine years before the onset of symptoms. The results were recently published in Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association.

Researchers wanted to find out how early it is possible to detect prediagnostic functional impairment or decline — that is, changes in the brain affecting memory, task management, problem solving and communication that might indicate the onset of a progressive brain disease, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and other similar conditions.

The results suggest we should spend more time trying to recognize these warning signs and addressing them by encouraging lifestyle changes to limit the effects of the condition. In addition, it also can be a valuable piece of the puzzle if genetic testing is considered.

KYW Newsradio’s Medical Reports are sponsored by Independence Blue Cross.

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