I had the honor of interviewing Dr. Scharre from The Ohio State Medical Center as one of the 3 experts for my PBS-TV special. He is at the end of the Special. What he emphasized over and over was to get a good diagnosis. There are many diagnoses other than dementia but look like a cognitive problem… UTI, mourning, B-12, dehydration, and many more. Many of these other health problems are curable or have great interventions available.
Dr. Scharre and other physicians have developed an on-line test (SAGE) which can help people decide if it is time to contact a specialist to get a diagnosis. Early detection is as important for the whole family as it is for the elderly. Please read more below and also follow the link.
Advantages of Early Detection
Early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia is important and has numerous benefits. While today’s treatments for Alzheimer’s disease arelimited in their effectiveness, they have the best chance of helping when they begin early.
• An opportunity for the senior to build better relationships with physicians and caregivers
• Ability to participate in clinical trials
• Time for the senior to make decisions about future care, financial and legal matters
Early warning of cognitive problems also allows the senior’s loved ones to remain more vigilant. Dr. Douglas Scharre, who helped develop SAGE notes, “The results can be a signal that caregivers may need to begin closer monitoring of the patient to ensure their safety and good health is not compromised and that they are protected from financial predators.”