According to the Alzheimer’s Association, 5.7 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease. By 2050, the number is expected to increase to 14 million. It is estimated that someone in the U.S. develops Alzheimer’s disease every 65 seconds. While Alzheimer’s disease in only one of many forms of dementia, the numbers are staggering and illustrate the importance of early screening.
Early detection of cognitive changes through appropriate screening and testing is vitally important in understanding an older adult’s current strengths and challenges, and to aid families with information critical to future planning. I employ a battery of age-normed neuropsychological tests to garner diagnostic data and offer person-centered recommendations to enhance or maintain current cognitive functioning, as well as plan for the progression of the disease process. Additionally, I provide psychoeducation on dementia and the important role of medical and psychological comorbidities that may be impacting an individuals cognitive functioning.
Experts estimate that up to 40% of persons with a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease also suffer from depression. Symptoms of major depression include the following:
- Social isolation
- Disruption in appetite
- Disruption in sleep
- Agitation or slowed behavior
- Feelings of worthlessness
- Recurrent thoughts of death
When left untreated, depression can negatively impact a person’s overall functioning, including brain health.