Women Having Memory Problems? 10 Years From Now, You May Have Alzheimer's

Uh oh.

Just when I thought I was getting out of the woods as a potential Alzheimer's patient, now a new study is saying that older women (ok, so I'm not over 70 or anywhere near it) with memory complaints may well be on their way to this dreaded disease.

According to newswise.com, new research suggests that older women who complain of memory problems may be at higher risk for experiencing diagnosed memory and thinking impairment decades later.

I drew a complete blank when trying to come up with my allergist's name for another doctor.  Usually the name will come to me sometime over the next hours or days.  But this one didn't.  Then I panicked when my son and I were listening to music and I wanted to tell him about a singer who sounded just like the person singing.  And I couldn't for the life of me remember her name.

(I knew the first name, "Phoebe."  But the rest totally eluded me.  I came up with "Swann" but I knew that wasn't right.  Then, out of the blue, it came to me.   Phoebe Snow.  Not too far off.  Maybe I have a little time left before I lose everything!)

“These memory complaints may be a very early symptom of a gradual disease process such as Alzheimer’s disease,” says study author Allison Kaup, PhD, with the San Francisco VA Medical Center and University of California San Francisco, at newswise.com. “Other studies have shown this association.  However, our study followed women for longer than most other studies, following these women over the course of nearly 20 years.”

Kaup says the memory complaints were enough to be noticeable to the women, but not significant enough to show up on a standard test.

A total of 89 women, or 8 percent, complained of memory problems at the start of the study. They were 70 percent more likely to develop a diagnosis of memory or thinking impairment during the study than women who did not have any memory complaints, with 53 percent of those with complaints developing a diagnosis compared to 38 percent of those with no memory complaints.

Women who had memory complaints 10 years before the end of the study were 90 percent more likely to develop a diagnosis than those with no memory complaints at 10 years prior. Women who had memory complaints four years before the end of the study were three times more likely to develop a diagnosis than women with no memory complaints four years prior.

So am I at risk for this?  I guess only time will tell.  But I found my doctor's name.  I googled him.  


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