If you or a loved one exhibits any of the warning signs of Alzheimer’s, that doesn’t mean it’s time to panic. But it does mean it’s time to see your doctor. Since the cause of these symptoms could be due to any number of conditions, it becomes especially important for your next step to be an appointment with your primary care physician so you can receive an accurate diagnosis from a medical professional.
A special kind of check-up
During an examination, your doctor will take a look at your overall health and assess if there are any physical reasons for your symptoms. You might also be referred to specialists who can help pinpoint the cause of your condition. These specialists include: neurologists who specialize in the brain and nervous system; psychiatrists or psychologists with experience in mental disorders; and geriatricians who understand the medical needs of older adults.
Early diagnosis is especially important for the following reasons:
- You may be able to take better advantage of available treatments.
This could include being a candidate for clinical drug trials or other research treatments that could help relieve or slow the onset of some symptoms.
- The earlier you know, the more time you have to prepare for what’s next.
With Alzheimer’s in your future, time becomes your most precious resource. Early diagnosis gives you valuable time to help in decision-making about various care options, issues surrounding finances, legal responsibilities and other potential concerns. You’ll also have more time to begin surrounding yourself with the people and resources you need for this next stage in your life.
- Knowledge is power.
Fear of the unknown may be the worst fear of all. Once you have a true medical diagnosis, you can begin the process of understanding your condition—and understanding that living a rich, full life is still possible when living with Alzheimer’s. As long as you and your family have the care and support you need.