This week on “Caring for Seniors” Judy and Rich discuss the race to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease. They open up with talking about the Alzheimer’s Association’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s. It’s happening at the end of the month. Judy always keeps up to date about the latest research about Alzheimer’s. She shares a study that’s happening in New York. It involves an eye scan that showed there was the same plaque build up in the retina that is in the brain.
The Race to Diagnose Alzheimer’s Disease
The search for plaque overall is still relatively new. Until around seven years ago, it was thought that the only way to diagnose Alzheimer’s was through an autopsy. There’s pet scans now but it can be expensive and not covered by Medicaid. Then Judy mentioned a rather unorthodox study, which was very small, that involved peanut butter. According to the study, those with Alzheimer’s could not smell peanut butter in their left nostril.
The reason so many studies are focused on early detection is because by the time we might show symptoms we will be well into Alzheimer’s. It’s easy for everyone to brush subtle signs, like getting lost or constantly losing keys, when we’re younger.
It’s only when we are older do we see the seriousness of it. There are some medications out there that can help but they can’t do too much once we are in the midsts of the disease, but if we can detect earlier, it can add years of independence and good quality of life. It won’t reverse the disease but it will stall it.
Check out the whole segment here.