Lost Your Keys and Think You Have Alzheimer's? You Just Might

Uh oh.  I knew it.  New studies are showing that people who think they might -- or develop -- Alzheimer's may be right.

According to newswise.com, "A recent study suggests that self-reported memory complaints might predict clinical memory impairment later in life."

For the study, a researcher asked over 3,000 men 60 and older, "Have you noticed any change in your memory since you last came in?"

Now I'm not 60 yet but if you asked my son how many times I forgot to bring his strawberries after I cut them to him, well, never mind.  Let's just say it's a lot.

"It seems that subjective memory complaint can be predictive of clinical memory impairment," said one of the study authors.

In other words, if you think you do, you just might.

The memory and thinking lapses people notice in themselves could be early markers of risk for Alzheimer’s disease, says experts, adding that perhaps there's hope in that because doctors might be able to intervene earlier, making treatment work.  There is no cure -- or treatment -- for Alzheimer's.

It's one of the most feared diseases -- more than 5 million people have it today and that number's expected to explode with the Baby Boomers, of which I am one -- in the world because it robs us of who we are.  

But reassuringly, Erin Abner, Ph.D, an assistant professor at the University of Kentucky's Sanders-Brown Center on Aging, who led the study, stressed that her work shouldn’t necessarily worry everyone who’s ever forgotten where they left their keys.

"It’s important to distinguish between normal memory lapses and significant memory problems, which usually change over time and affect multiple aspects of daily life," she said at newswise.com.

Still, her words have left a chill in my head.  I'm going to really try to remember to bring those strawberries to my son.  Or maybe, next time, he should just get them himself.



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