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Is There a Test for Alzheimers?

By Randi Morse

As we age, we all tend to discover that we have memory issues. How many times have you thought you "lost" your keys only to find them exactly where you left them? How often have you walked into a room and forgotten why you were there? The human brain is a very complicated organism, but it's not uncommon for people to start to have memory issues as they get older. Having frequent memory issues may make you concerned about having Alzheimer's disease.

Testing for Alzheimers

Alzheimer's disease is something that doctors are still learning about. As with almost any brain-related condition, Alzheimer's is complicated. People often wonder if there is some sort of test doctors can perform that will help you to learn if you have Alzheimer's or not. There is currently a blood test for the disease that is being developed. Researchers at Washington University in St Louis are using the beta-amyloid levels in the blood to discover if there is any sort of cognitive impairment in the test subjects. While they have not come upon a completely reliable test for Alzheimer's yet, their findings do look good and it is likely something that will be available in the near future.

Spinal Test 

If you are concerned about having Alzheimer's, your physician may be able to schedule a specific test that could help ease your fears. This test utilizes spinal fluid, which means that you would need to undergo a lumbar puncture in order for the doctor to have access to the spinal fluid. The test is completely safe, but there can be some pain associated with it, both during the procedure and during recovery. Headaches are a common side effect of lumbar punctures. 

Should You Worry?

How much should you worry about having Alzheimer's disease? There is some research that is showing that the disease may be hereditary, so if you have family members who have suffered from the disease, it is a good idea to make sure that your physician is aware of the family history. Generally, you shouldn't have to worry too much about Alzheimer's unless you start to lose time. This symptom can be very scary and is one of the more serious symptoms of Alzheimer's disease. As always, anytime you have concerns you should speak with your physician. It's their job to help you feel comfortable and to help catch any conditions before they become serious.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Tampa, Fla.

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