Long time Jeopardy! Moderator Alex Trebek is pretty much the king of trifles. However, in a recent interview, he revealed that some of the recent memory problems worried him that he would have to give up his career – and possibly early signs of Alzheimer's Disease had told Trebek, 78 Vulture that he had decided to test for Alzheimer's disease after having trouble remembering the facts as easily as he had in the past. "I love crossword puzzles, and lately I'm looking at a hint it's 23 over, and I'm trying to fit the answer in 26," he said. "I've always been free."
He underwent several tests, and though his first results were somewhat unclear, subsequent tests confirmed that he was okay. "When they first tested me, they said," It does not look good. & # 39; Then we did more testing and they said, "Alright, do not worry," Trebek said. Trebek said the storage issues were "natural," adding, "I'm 78. It's not like this happened at 50."
There are some early signs of Alzheimer's disease worth investigating but not all memory problems are equally affected.
Memory problems are usually one of the first signs that someone is suffering from a cognitive impairment due to a cognitive impairment Alzheimer's disease says the National Institute for aging (NIA).
But that does not mean that anyone with memory problems has Alzheimer's disease – it's normal for your memory. Amit Sachdev, MD, Assistant Professor and Director of Department of Neuromuscular Medicine, Michigan State University, explained to SELF: Some people have a so-called "mild cognitive impairment," a condition in which people have more memory problems me as they are normal for t heirs, but it does not disturb daily life, explains the NIA.
The first salient symptoms of Alzheimer's may vary from person to person, but many people have trouble finding the right words, visual and spatial issues, and impairments in the assessment or justification under the NIA. They can also wander and get lost, have trouble dealing with money, repeat questions, take longer than usual to complete their daily tasks and show changes in their personality or behavior.
But whether your memory problems are normal or may not be indicative of something more serious depends on whether they affect your day-to-day life. Sachdev. "With the typical age, the memory decreases, but the individual or the family does not affect the daily function." So it can be normal to forget why you went to the fridge. However, it can be worrisome if you forget where you are. If you are already in the car or have forgotten to pay your bills, your head is.
Your doctor may give you various tests to rule out other causes of memory problems before you diagnose Alzheimer's.
People are worried that they should go to their doctor for a check-up, "explains Drs. Scott Kaiser, family doctor and geriatrician at the Providence Saint John's Health Center in Santa Monica, California, opposite SELF. "That's the best thing you can do."
Technically, doctors can not make a definitive diagnosis of Alzheimer's while you're still alive, as this requires an examination of your brain tissue. However, you can still determine if your memory problems are likely to be a sign of Alzheimer's-related dementia by using standard blood and urine tests and interviewing a family member or friend to see if they have detected misconduct and basic memory tests , Problem solving, counting, attention and language, says the NIA.
These blood and urine tests can help your doctor eliminate other factors that could lead to memory problems, such as kidney or liver problems, electrolyte imbalances or vitamin deficiencies, Ian M. Grant, MD, Mesulam Cognitive Neurology Behavioral Neurologist and Alzheimer's & # 39 ; s Disease Center of Northwestern University at Feinberg School of Medicine, reports SELF. "They can aggravate memory problems and possibly have a solution for them," he says.
After that, your doctor will probably have a brain imaging study done, such as a CT scan, MRI or positron emission tomography (PET). These can help exclude masses (such as a tumor), determine if you've had a stroke that could affect your thinking, if your brain is damaged overall, and if your brain has lost more than Grant expects:
But even if your first results suggest that there is a problem, as in Trebek's case, subsequent tests could show that all the memory issues you have are actually completely normal.
That really happened. Maybe you just had a day off when you first tested it, which skewed your results. Maybe you did not sleep well the night before, got nervous during the test or really stressed out – all of these things can affect the results, Dr. Emperor. Dr. Grant adds, even if there is something like a cold or other viral disease that can affect the outcome.
"Screening tests are well-suited to identifying potential problems, but they are not precise and specific," says Drs. Emperor. "More tests will be more sensitive and specific." The only way to find out if something is really to worry about is to contact your doctor first.