Dementia is a group of brain disorders resulting in memory loss, difficulty in communicating, concentrating and making decisions. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia where brain cells degenerate, causing a steady decline in memory and mental function.
Symptoms of dementia, like memory loss, can be related to normal aging or linked to other medical conditions, it is important to see a doctor for diagnosis.
- Persisting and worsening memory loss
- Difficulty thinking and concentrating
- Difficulty making decisions, responding appropriately to everyday situations
- Familiar or routine activities become difficult to remember or complete
- Changes in personality and behavior
- Mood swings, irritability and loss of inhibitions
- Changes in sleep habits
Since there currently is not a single test to diagnose Alzheimer’s, a careful medical evaluation is needed. During this evaluation, your physician will also test for other conditions that may cause dementia like symptoms like depression, thyroid problem or a vitamin B12 deficiency among other conditions.
During this assessment, your provider will:
- Review your medical history
- Physical exam
- Neurological testing
- Psychiatric evaluation
- Cognitive and neuropsychological tests
- Genetic testing
- Laboratory testing
- Brain imaging
Currently, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s, but new treatments are available to slow the progression of the symptoms. Leading the discovery to develop a cure, prevention and reverse the effects of the disease, researchers at UT Health San Antonio are offering clinical studies to develop advanced treatments.
Researchers believe, Alzheimer’s diseases is caused by a combination of genetic, lifestyle and environmental factors.
- Risk increases greatly after the age of 65. Early-onset Alzheimer’s symptoms can begin in the 30s.
- First-degree relatives with the disease
- Down syndrome
- Being a female
- Mild cognitive impairment
- Severe head trauma
- Lack of exercise
- High blood pressure or high cholesterol
- Poorly controlled type 2 diabetes
- Lack of education and social activities
To schedule a screening appointment, call
Interested in learning more about dementia?
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