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Alzheimer's and dementia can be diagnosed earlier with quick test

Alzheimer's disease and dementia affect many senior citizens in the Houston area. While treatment is available, a delayed diagnosis can result in delayed treatment.

A recent study has shown that Alzheimer's disease could be the third leading cause of death in the United States, but it is greatly undercounted among senior citizens. More than 5 million Americans have been diagnosed with Alzheimer's but some neurologists argue doctors could do more to screen for the disease. A test called the Mini-Cog takes only a minute and can quickly spot a patient who may be suffering from a form of dementia. The test has the patient memorize three words, then draw a clock face and place the hands at ten past eleven, then repeat the three words again. Patients whose score is low are referred for further evaluation.

Families who are struggling with Alzheimer's and dementia in a loved one know how devastating a toll these conditions can take on a family. Helping a loved one navigate the health care system and making sure their quality of life is as good as it can be is very important.

Families who have been affected by Alzheimer's know how important it is to detect the disease early. If a family feels that their loved one's care may have been delayed due to a negligent medical professional, consulting with an experienced medical malpractice lawyer can be helpful. An attorney can help determine if negligence has occurred and can help families recover compensation for their situation.

Source: Star Tribune, "Quick test could spot Alzheimer's, dementia earlier," Dan Browning, March 16, 2014

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