According to the Centers for Disease Control, Alzheimer's disease was the sixth leading cause of death of all Americans in 2007. Recognizing the symptoms of this disease may help to slow its progression and improve the quality of life for women with this condition by allowing for treatment options, counseling and family support.
Early symptoms of Alzheimer's disease in women mirror those of men and include forgetting words, conversations and appointments, misplacing commonly used items such as reading glasses, and confusion with handling finances such as the checkbook.
Early symptoms of Alzheimer's disease in women might be noticed by family members, close friends or coworkers; diagnosis is made by a doctor who might conduct psychological tests or brain imaging.
Women are more likely than men to develop symptoms of Alzheimer's disease. In addition, those with a family history of Alzheimer's, high blood pressure or cholesterol, uncontrolled diabetes, and low educational levels have an increased risk of Alzheimer's disease.
Women with early symptoms of Alzheimer's disease might develop poor overall financial judgment. They may become more susceptible to scams that pray on the elderly, which could require family members or other caregivers to take over their money management.
No cure is available for Alzheimer's disease, but doctors might prescribe medications such as Aricept and Namenda to slow mental changes; lifestyle changes such as a healthy diet, mental exercise, and supplements of Vitamin E or ginko might be recommended as well.
According to the Alzheimer's Foundation, early symptoms of Alzheimer's are progressive and have the potential to cause personality and mood changes as well as more severe physical symptoms.
- Photo Credit Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Shaheen Lakhan
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