Saturday, March 8, 2014

Is there any benefit of testing for dementia to see if you are at future risk?



Are there any benefits to getting a diagnosis of dementia early? If so, what are they?

There are no tests or procedures that will definitely tell you that anyone has or is going to get dementia.

The probability may increase, but it's still a educated guess.

There is a higher risk, of course. Just as if you were a truck driver you are at higher risk to be in an accident just because of the miles you log.

My thinking on this, there isn't anything that can slow the progression of this disease, or prevent it from happening.

If you want your son, daughter or if anyone wants to go through tests to see if their risk is higher, I say go for it.

Just keep in mind, I have had an my diagnosis for over four years now and there is not one Neurologists I have seen yet that will tell me I absolutely have dementia or what type of dementia.

They tell me I have Early On-Set Alzheimers Disease, only because I was 57 years old at the time of my diagnosis. This is another no brainer to me. So I have EOAD, but if I or anyone else is 65 or older, you have Alzheimer disease simply because of your age.

Who makes these rules anyways? Do they pick an age out of the sky? Why 65? Why not 62?

They all use the "catch" phrase, "Dementia, probably of the Alzheimer type."

In other words, they don't know. When someone says what are the benefits of "knowing early", I say there is none, cause there is will be no definitive diagnosis, ever.

Some people are under the impression you can go to a doctor, have some tests done and they will be able to tell you if you are at risk.

I can do that, and it won't cost you a dime. If someone in your family has been diagnosed, you are somewhat at risk of seeing signs of dementia or even getting dementia at some point.

But to say after some blood tests, or MRI, or CAT scan or whatever other tests that they can tell you, is in my opinion just a waste of money.

First of all I can tell you, you will know if you have dementia. I knew years before any doctor or neurologists told me. Even then, they were skeptical at best.

The only true way to know if you have dementia, and of what type is an autopsy of the brain. All neurologists agree on this. So how is it they can preform some tests and tell you are at risk?

They can't. Like I said they can give you an educated guess. Just remember, because your Mom, Dad, Grandmother, Grandfather or whoever had dementia does not mean that you will.

I will agree you are more likely. But that is a far cry from being at risk. No one in my family has every had dementia, or any form of it. Does this mean my son will?

No. This means his Dad was diagnosed and he is more likely to have dementia perhaps. Again, more likely is far cry from being at risk. And besides there is not one thing you can do to prevent dementia.

Exercise, eating right. These are all good things, but none of them are scientifically seen as preventative measures to keep one from getting dementia.

Those of us who have dementia, know all too well that the jury is still out on what causes dementia, who will get it, and so on. There is no slowing the process, there is no cure.

That you can be sure of. But worrying about something that may never happen is like carrying around an umbrella everyday cause it might rain...

To me, it is a total waste of time to worry about something they have no way of knowing who will be diagnosed, nor do they even know for sure when you are diagnosed if you indeed have dementia, or what type.

Again, you will hear constantly, "I have dementia, probably of the Alzheimer type"...that is about the most useless statement I have ever heard.

It tells you nothing. And its a patient who says this, just because some doctor somewhere told them that. Three or four years ago you never heard that phrase, now people spout it like it's an award or something.

It's mind boggling and makes no sense to me. This of course is just my take on early detection and prevention. Any time you can get early detection from something, its a good thing.

But with dementia, like I said, its a whole different ball game. It just is...