Ask Dr. Leavitt--How do I find out if I have Alzheimer's?
It seems the older I get, the more I keep forgetting. What can I do to find out if I have Alzheimer’s?
Alzheimer’s dementia and memory loss in general are very common areas of concern for patients in my clinic. Many have family members or friends who have Alzheimer’s dementia and want to do everything they can to avoid memory loss. Several types of blood tests are available to check for memory loss.
Genetic risk factors, including the apoE gene, E4, can be tested for Alzheimer’s dementia. Other risk factors for memory loss include sleep apnea, depression, alcohol or drug abuse, certain types of cancer and cancer fighting treatments, smoking and cerebral vascular disease.
High homocysteine levels can indirectly lead to memory loss, as well as low estrogen levels in women and low testosterone levels in men. It is important to sit down and talk with your family doctor to discuss and assess your memory loss, to make sure you are utilizing preventative measures, such as controlling high blood pressure and diabetes, and to help prevent any further memory loss.
At Leavitt Family Medicine, we are here for you, for all your medical needs. We welcome your questions and comments; please let us know how we can help you today!
Posted on 09/21/2011 12:09 PM by Paul J. Leavitt, M.D.