Learn the difference between everyday forgetfulness and the early signs of Alzheimer’s disease.
1. True or False? Memory loss is common with age.
Answer: True. It’s common to occasionally forget names, dates or appointments. However, if the memory loss begins to interfere with your daily life—if, for example, you begin relying heavily on notes, electronic reminders or family members for things you used to remember easily—it may be a sign of a more serious issue that needs a doctor’s evaluation.
2. Which of these is true?
A) Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia.
B) Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive brain disorder that worsens over time.
C) Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States.
D) All of the above.
Answer: D. Almost 6 million Americans live with Alzheimer’s disease, and this progressive brain disorder can lead to complications as the brain stops functioning. Once Alzheimer’s is in its end stages, patients are at a higher risk of stroke, infections, pneumonia and other health issues.
3. True or False? Alzheimer’s disease is part of aging.
Answer: False. While the greatest risk factor for Alzheimer’s is age, it is not part of aging. It is a disease of the brain that worsens overtime.
4. Which of these is a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease?
A) A parent with Alzheimer’s.
B) Having high blood pressure.
C) Both A and B.
Answer: C. Both early- and late-onset Alzheimer’s have genetic components, but other lifestyle factors, such as having poor vascular health, may also play a role in developing Alzheimer’s.
5. True or False? Doctors use more than one method to diagnose Alzheimer’s.
Answer: True. Doctors will perform a physical exam and talk with the patient about symptoms, health history and medication use, and then possibly order blood work and imaging studies. These tests will rule out other health issues that could be causing symptoms, such as a previous stroke or Parkinson’s disease.
6. Who is most likely to show signs of Alzheimer’s?
A) A 25-year-old
B) A 45-year-old
C) A 65-year old
Answer: C. While early onset Alzheimer’s disease does occur in patients younger than 65, about 95 percent of Alzheimer’s disease develops in those ages 65 and older.
7. True or False? If you forget a word during a conversation, it’s a sign of Alzheimer’s.
Answer: False. Forgetting which words to use from time to time is very common, especially as a person ages. As with memory loss, a sign of Alzheimer’s would be a noticeable difference in the way you hold conversations, with pauses and speech changes becoming increasingly common.
8. Which of these is not a sign of Alzheimer’s?
A) Misplacing keys in unusual places and unable to retrace steps to find them
B) Forgetting to make a monthly payment
C) Poor judgment and decision-making, such as unusually bad money choices or poor hygiene
Answer: B. Everyone forgets things once in a while. It’s a sign of concern when a person’s brain cannot function as it once did.
9. True or False? Alzheimer’s can be treated with medication.
Answer: True. There are several medications approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat the symptoms of Alzheimer’s.