Dr. Guy Eakin, Vice President of Scientific Affairs for the BrightFocus Foundation, discusses the top five questions you should ask your doctor regarding your Alzheimer's diagnosis.
Dr. Guy Eakin: Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia. This terminal progressive brain disorder has no definitive cause or cure. More than five million Americans are believed have Alzheimer's disease and this number is steadily increasing.
So whether you are a patient or a caregiver take an active role in managing Alzheimer's disease by having an open conversation with the lead physician. It's very important to write down your questions ahead of time and don't leave the office without understanding the medical recommendations, your doctor's responsibilities and your responsibilities. So are here the top five questions to ask your doctor regarding your Alzheimer's disease diagnosis.
How much experience do you have in treating people with Alzheimer's disease?
There is no single type of doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating memory loss or Alzheimer's. However you should try to find the doctor has some expertise in this area. Many people began with their regular primary care doctors or internist to discuss their concerns. Primary care doctors often oversee the diagnostic process and provide treatment themselves. It may be worth considering more specialized services from a geriatrician, a psychiatrist or a neurologist who can perform specific tests.
What changes should I expect as the disease progresses?
There are three general stages in dementia due to Alzheimer's. Moving from one stage to another may not be perceptible. But based on the symptoms your doctor can estimate the disease stage and possibly provide expectations about the rate at which the disease is progressing.
What should I tell people who know me about my diagnosis?
Your doctor and their medical team can provide tips for when and how to share your diagnosis with friends and families. Consider and ask questions about the legal issues and ramifications of reveling your diagnosis to your employer or your coworkers.
Am I by taking any medications that could be making my symptoms worse?
There are many commonly prescribed medications that also can interfere with memories, so you should be sure to have a conversation with your doctor about all medications and this includes supplements.
Are you aware of any new information or research concerning Alzheimer's?
Many potential treatments for Alzheimer's disease are being investigated in laboratories and tested in human clinical trials. Speak with your doctor to see if you would be a good fit for any upcoming clinical trials in your area. So at your next scheduled doctor's appointment be sure to ask your physician these questions and take control of your Alzheimer's today.
This content was last updated on: March 15, 2014