Source: GMN Health
Mind cognitive impairment (MCI) is a common ailment of older adults (ages 50 and over).What is MCI? Simply defined, it is a condition where an individual’s memory is impaired greater for what can be expected for their age. When loved ones tell you the forgetfulness is serious it likely is MCI. Since millions of Americans have MCI, how do you know if it is due to a serious neurological conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease?
One must first consider that the course of this disease after an initial diagnosis can run its course over a period of 10 years. The pathology is sometimes present in the brain an additional 10 years before the first symptoms appears. When confronted with a disease process of this length, there is a tendency by many individuals to accept a lessening of cognitive abilities as a normal occurrence and a willingness to replace it with compensating support from their family and friends. This becomes a trap for both the patient and the caregiver.
Although both parties to this arrangement are comfortable at first, this relationship will eventually disintegrate as the months turn into years. In a research environment, I have seen the bonds between husband and wife and child and parent strengthen over time. The very act of doing“something” rather than accepting one’s fate can be both emotionally and physically therapeutic. In the never-ending effort of finding that“golden bullet” that might positively modify this disease process, it lacks the humanitarian approach that is needed to populate these critical research programs.
At the Memory Enhancement Center, we are conducting the latest breakthrough tests both in clinical practice as well as in clinical research testing programs We take Medicare for tests conducted. We are part of the Alzheimer’s research community, with the responsibility of evaluating volunteers suffering from MCI/Alzheimer’s disease to consider clinical trials as an alternative to accepting their fate in the face of a condition we know to be fatal. Without a known, truly effective treatment available as of yet, pursuing an FDA-approved clinical trial investigating a possible treatment for Alzheimer’s disease would seem to be a reasonable course of action for an individual.
If test results are suggestive of MCI due to early Alzheimer’s disease as the cause of MCI, or if the tests are consistent with Alzheimer’s dementia, we will offer a comprehensive treatment plan. This might include starting or continuing on the four FDA-approved Alzheimer’s disease medications, or if the tests are normal, coming off these medications.
By Dr. Joel S. Ross, Memory Enhancement Center, 4 Industrial Way East, second floor, Eatontown. For more information, call 732-379-7768 or visit http://memorycenternj.com.