Doctor Oz said that there is a way that we may be able to stop Alzheimer’s Disease before it even strikes and to get diagnosed with Alzheimer’s years before you have any signs. One of the most devastating things we can hear from a doctor is that we have Alzheimer’s, because many of us look at it as a slow and painful death sentence. In fact, you could have Alzheimer’s Disease right now and not even know it.
Early symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease often go unnoticed, such as misplacing your keys, but the subtle symptoms turn into obvious signs like not recognizing yourself when you look in the mirror or not knowing how to get home. Before you know it, a lifetime of memories and the memory of all of your loved ones disappears.
Alzheimer’s Test: Spinal Fluid Test
Dr Oz said that the first test is a Spinal Fluid test, because spinal fluid is made in the brain and tells us a lot about your brain’s health. Your doctor can check for 2 proteins in your Spinal Fluid which can be early predictors of Alzheimer’s Disease. These bio markers are in your spinal fluid because all chemical changes that take place in your brain, also appear in your spinal fluid. This Spinal Fluid Test for Alzheimer’s Disease is still under research and standardization, but it looks very promising. The Spinal Fluid Test is done through a Spinal Tap, where your doctor puts a needle through your back and into your spinal column. Then they measure the proteins found in the spinal fluid to see if you have the ones released that reflect Alzheimer’s Diseease.
Alzheimer’s Test: PET Scans
Dr Oz said that PET Scans are a special scan that can detect plaque in your brain, which commonly occurs in Alzheimer’s patients. It used to be that we could not visualize plaque building up in a living brain, and that we could only see it during an autopsy. The PET Scan Is great because it can help doctors to make a more accurate diagnosis and even more importantly, it can help your doctor to diagnose you sooner.
Alzheimer’s usually starts 10 years before the symptoms show up. Dr Oz said that the pink area in our brain that bulges forward is where we store memories, and Alzheimer’s causes our brain to shrink and to scar the brain tissue. Dr Oz was joined by Murali Doraiswamy who said there are three stages to Alzheimer’s Disease.
3 Stages of Alzheimer’s Disease
1. First your brain is under attack, but you have no symptoms.
2. Stage 2 you have mild memory loss.
3. Stage 3 of Alzheimer’s Disease is full blow Alzheimer’s where you have major memory loss and diminished daily function.
Dr Oz’s Alzheimer’s Risk Quiz
1. What is s your age, gender and family history?
Dr Oz said that age is the biggest risk factor for Alzheimer’s. After you are 65 years old, your risk doubles. Once you are 70 years old, your risk quadruples. And by the time you are 85, you have a 50% risk of having Alzheimer’s Disease.
2. Have you ever had a concussion?
Dr Oz said that serious head injuries that include a loss of consciousness can increase your risk for Alzheimer’s. If you have had 3 or more concussions, then your risk for Alzheimer’s goes up 3 or 4-fold, so make sure that you wear protective gear during sports like skiing.
3. Do you have an intellectual hobby?
This is the whole “use it or lose it” theory. Our experiences can shape our brain and can even grow new nerve cells. So it is important to always learn new skills: learn a new dance, learn to play a new instrument or even learn a new language.
4. Do you have heart disease?
Heart disease is something that we can mainly control. Vascular disease increases your risk of blood clots and if blood, nourishment and oxygen are prevented from going to the brain, then you increase your risk of getting Alzheimer’s .