Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Institute Director Cynthia Carlsson, MD, MS, joined the podcast Dementia Matters to discuss benefits of an early Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis. The episode aired November 5, 2020.
Dr. Carlsson described how sometimes an individual who is concerned about potential memory loss may feel intimated about receiving a memory screening, perhaps feeling hopeless or embarrassed about the changes they are experiencing. Although these worries are common, she said, it is important for someone to speak to a doctor about potential memory loss because in the event it is Alzheimer’s disease, there are benefits to an early diagnosis, and there are also other possible reasons for the memory changes. There is a concerted effort by research and health organizations to better support people living with memory loss and caregivers, Dr. Carlsson said.
“While we’re trying to find ways to prevent Alzheimer’s, which is something we all want to work toward, there’s a lot more effort being made by National Institutes of Health and other research organizations in finding ways to identify the disease early, to treat it and try to prevent it,” she said. “There’s also coordinated efforts in how to provide better care at the clinic and in the communities, and better support for caregivers … It’s recognizing we really need to find ways to better support people already affected by this disease, as well as try to prevent it in the next generation.”
She also talked about how some groups of people, including African Americans and LatinX Americans, may face health disparities that affect their diagnosis or treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. Reducing stigma around dementia is important for better care, she said, and provided advice for individuals and caregivers who have concerns about memory loss.
Dementia Matters is a podcast produced by the Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center. Listen to the episode here.
Read more about benefits of an early diagnosis on our website.