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Friday, November 11, 2011

The advantages of seeking an Early Diagnosis in Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders. View from India. (extract)

"Dementia: Advantages of Seeking an Early Diagnosis".

On the other hand, when people who know about dementia experience such symptoms, they suspect (or fear) that they have dementia. However, they hesitate to consult a doctor because of the stigma of being diagnosed with dementia. In some cultures people may associate "dementia" with strange behavior, helplessness, and negativity, and they don't want to be labeled as dementia patients. In other cultures, where dementia awareness is poor, there is a stigma about a dementia diagnosis because people associate dementia with insanity. People also hesitate to get a diagnosis because they have heard that dementia is incurable, so they see no point in "wasting" time and money by going to a doctor.

There are, however, several advantages of consulting a doctor for investigations and diagnosis as soon as the symptoms are noticed. These advantages are described below:
Not all memory loss is dementia,
Sometimes, depression is mistaken for dementia,

Dementia symptoms are also caused by treatable problems like deficiency of Vitamin B12, hypothyroidism, etc.,

Knowing that we have mild cognitive impairment affects our life choices,

Early diagnosis means treatment can begin earlier, and years of suffering may reduce,

An early diagnosis allows more time for the patient to plan for dementia,

An early diagnosis gives family and friends more time to plan care,

Late diagnosis means more suffering for the patient and family."


"In conclusion, a person who experiences symptoms of memory loss or functioning that hampers normal life should consult a medical professional to determine the cause and severity. Also, alert family members should ensure that a check-up is done. Perhaps the symptoms are caused by a problem that can be treated. Perhaps the symptoms are not dementia. And even if the symptoms are caused by an irreversible dementia, an early diagnosis allows starting treatment to alleviate the symptoms, and also allows the patient and the family more time to plan for the future.
Swapna Kishore is a resource person for dementia caregivers, and is involved in spreading dementia awareness in India. She is also a caregiver for her mother, who suffers from dementia. Swapna has created a website to support family members caring for dementia patients in India. She also blogs about her experiences as a caregiver and volunteer. Visit her website,Dementia Care Notes, and her blog at Swapna writes...about dementia care.”


Kishore, Swapna "Dementia: Advantages of Seeking an Early Diagnosis." Dementia: Advantages of Seeking an Early Diagnosis. 8 Nov. 2011 11 Nov. 2011 <­Advantages-­of-­Seeking-­an-­Early-­Diagnosis&id=6674993>.

1 comment:

David Tal said...

This article is very helpful information about Alzheimer's and related dementia, and resources for people with Alzheimer's as well as their caregivers and loved ones.

Dementia specialist