Memory Screening Day offers early detection of memory issues

Woodruff Health Sciences Center | Oct. 16, 2012

Contact

Vince Dollard
(media inquiries only)
404-550-4867
vdollar@emory.edu

Story image
Early identification of Alzheimer's disease or a related dementia allows affected individuals and their family members to benefit from available treatments that can help slow progression of symptoms, as well as to plan for the future and access social services support.

Keep losing your keys?  Forget why you walked into a room?  For anyone who might be thinking their memory isn't quite what it used to be, a Free Memory Screening will take place on Thursday, October 18 at Emory's Wesley Woods Outpatient Clinic, 1821 Clifton Road, Atlanta, 30329.  The free, confidential memory screening is aimed at promoting early detection of memory problems and appropriate intervention.

"While a memory screening is not the same as a memory evaluation, it is a helpful test," says James Lah, MD, PhD, associate professor of neurology in the Emory University School of Medicine and director of Emory's Cognitive Neurology Program.  "If someone is experiencing minor memory problems, early evaluation is important. Some memory problems, such as those caused by vitamin deficiencies or thyroid problems can be readily treated.  Others, such as mild cognitive impairment or Alzheimer's disease can benefit from early diagnosis and treatment."

Participants in Memory Screening Day will be given a series of questions and tasks designed to screen for memory, language skills and thinking abilities. The person who administers the screening will review the results with the person being screened, and suggest whether the person should follow up with a physician or other qualified healthcare professional for more extensive testing. 

Adults with memory concerns, a family history of Alzheimer's disease or with a desire to see how their memory is now and for future comparison are encouraged to participate in Memory Screening Day. According to the Alzheimer's Foundation of America, these questions might help in deciding whether to have a memory screening.

  • Am I becoming more forgetful?
  • Do I have trouble concentrating?
  • Do I have difficulty performing familiar tasks?
  • Do I have trouble recalling words or names in conversation?
  • Do I sometimes forget where I am or where I am going?
  • Have family or friends told me that I am repeating questions or saying the same thing over and over again?
  • Am I misplacing things more often?
  • Have I become lost when walking or driving?
  • Have my family or friends noticed changes in my mood, behavior, personality or desire to do things?

Early identification of Alzheimer's disease or a related dementia allows affected individuals and their family members to benefit from available treatments that can help slow progression of symptoms, as well as to plan for the future and access social services support. 

It is estimated that as many as five million Americans have Alzheimer's disease, which causes loss of memory and other intellectual functions. The incidence is expected to triple by mid-century in line with the nation's aging population. Advanced age is the greatest risk factor.