Central Peninsula Hospital | Pulse | Fall 2020

You’ve misplaced your car keys—again. Or you can’t remember a word you’ve used many times. The older you get, the more likely you’re apt to wonder: Are memory slips like this early signs of Alzheimer’s disease? The first thing to know is that mild for- getfulness can be a normal part of aging. The concern is when memory problems become serious—you can’t retrace your steps and find those car keys, for in- stance. Or you don’t eventually come up with the right word. Know the signs Alzheimer’s is a disorder of the brain that affects memory, thinking and reasoning. It gets worse over time. Most people display their first signs and symptoms when they’re in their mid-60s. Those signs and symp- toms can include: ● Getting lost in familiar places. ● Having trouble paying bills or managing money. ● Repeating questions. ● Misplacing things in odd places—for example, putting mail in the freezer. ● Taking longer to complete normal daily tasks. ● Losing track of the day or year. ● Having trouble following a conversation or recognizing familiar people. ● Having difficulties carrying out multi- step tasks, such as getting dressed. ● Engaging in impulsive behavior, such as undressing at inappropriate times or places or using vulgar language. Get help If you or a loved one has memory prob- lems, or you’re concerned about changes in memory and behavior, your first step is to talk to a doctor. These signs and symp- toms may be caused by problems other than Alzheimer’s, and the right care could improve or reverse them. There is no cure for Alzheimer’s. But there are medications that might delay progression of the disease. Acting quickly is to your advantage. Sources: Alzheimer’s Association; National Institute on Aging ACROSS 2. Exercise isn’t just for your body. To help keep your brain active, read, play games, do _______ (like crosswords!) and try new hobbies. 3. Staying social can help keep your brain sharp. Make time for _______ and family— it’s good for you! 4. A _______ is a type of doctor who specializes in treating the brain and spine. 7. Move your body to protect your brain. Regular _______ has been shown to increase brain function and improve mental health. 9. Though it’s the most common, _______ disease isn’t the only type of dementia. DOWN 1. Different types of dementia call for different _______, so it’s important to get an accurate diagnosis. 5. Getting enough _______ every night can help keep your brain healthy. 6. Eat a diet with plenty of _______ and veggies, whole grains, fish, and nuts. 8. Loss of _______ doesn’t always signal dementia. It can have other causes too. MIND GAMES 1 2 3 6 7 8 9 5 4 Give this brain health puzzle a try. You’ll have fun testing your know-how—and youmay pick up a few tips too! Across: 2. Puzzles 3. Friends 4. Neurologist 7. Exercise 9. Alzheimer’s Down: 1. Treatments 5. Sleep 6. Fruits 8. Memory Answers: Is it simply aging or is it Alzheimer’s? If you are concerned about Alzheimer’s disease, talk with your doctor or call Central Peninsula Neurology at 907-714-4090 . We are here to help. 6 Central Peninsula Hospital