“I think dementia is the major healthcare threat to our economy and our security. It’s a ticking time bomb - we have a whole generation of baby boomers that are going to age, many progressing to get Alzheimer’s - which disproportionately affects women and minorities.” ~ Vivek Ramaswamy
Concerned About a Future Alzheimer’s Diagnosis?
A concern we commonly share is whether I could be at risk for Alzheimer’s disease.
For me, this is a worst-case scenario – to be healthy but lose my cognitive function, my ability to relate with my family, and to maintain cherished memories.
Currently, over six million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease.
Additionally, approximately 30% of new cases of Alzheimer’s disease occur with no genetic predisposition (i.e., the presence of the APOE4 gene marker). This is due to lifestyle factors, including Hypertension in mid-life, diabetes, and elevated BMI (all common problems in our culture today).
In this article, I will explain three main points:
- How Alzheimer’s disease is diagnosed.
- What you can do if you are worried about Alzheimer’s disease.
- Practical next steps.
How is Alzheimer’s Diagnosed?
- Traditional Medicine Route to Diagnosis This path begins with sharing your concerns with your primary care doctor. They will seek to understand whether you have impaired memory or thinking (cognitive) skills (if you exhibit changes in personality or behaviors) and how your thinking problems affect your ability to function in daily life.
At this point, your primary care physician will refer you to a neurologist who will likely run laboratory and imaging tests to gather additional information. This is done to rule out other potential diseases or conditions that could pose similar symptoms and to collect the relevant data points to confirm a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s. A specialist will also order mental status testing. These seek to test your thinking (cognitive) and memory skills. Doctors use the scores on these tests to evaluate your degree of cognitive impairment.
Additionally, you may be referred to a neuropsychologist. This specialist, trained in brain and mental health conditions, can run extensive tests to evaluate your memory and thinking (cognitive) skills.
- Functional Medicine Route to Diagnosis
A functional approach, if the physician is trained in advanced methods and protocols, will include a comprehensive package of testing that measures underlying drivers of the disease as well as cognitive testing and brain imaging to establish baseline data.
Based on the research of Dr. Dale Bredesen, MD, professor at UCLA School of Medicine, there are underlying drivers of cognitive disease numbering over 40 pathways.
Testing will include measuring all of these underlying pathways to establish baseline data. Testing will also have a cognitive assessment to understand at what stage you are in the disease progression.
Finally, in addition to specific marker testing, cognition assessment is MRI imaging to understand the current condition of your brain’s structure and if you are demonstrating the signs of Alzheimer’s disease. From this mosaic of data, there will be a determined diagnosis.
What Can You Do If You Are Worried About an Alzheimer’s Diagnosis?
The traditional medical approach offers little hope – just prescription drug options not proven to prevent or even successfully treat Alzheimer’s. However, emerging research and clinical trials demonstrate successful prevention and treatment using a root-cause approach.
Tiger Medical Institute is certified by world-renowned Alzheimer’s researcher Dr. Dale Bredesen, MD UCLA, in the assessment, testing, and preventative treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and memory loss.
What Are My Next Steps?
Given your concern, it is time to act. I suggest reading additional articles and watching related videos. You can read these articles below:
The next best step is to schedule a call to speak with a Tiger professional who can help you understand all aspects of the Tiger Medical transformation system.
Our system is highly beneficial to overall brain health.
Book A Call today to begin your journey to improved brain health.