WPR News
7:17 am
Fri November 9, 2007

Docs suggest screenings for memory loss

Laramie, Wyo. – A private panel this week recommended that everyone aged 65 and older request memory screenings when they go to the doctor.

The Alzheimer's Disease Screening Discussion Group was assembled by Pfizer and Eisai, two pharmaceutical companies.

They say Alzheimer's is often undiagnosed - so patients should get memory screenings even if they don't suspect problems.

But Mary Hein with Alzheimer's Wyoming is concerned that testing everyone might lead to false positives.

"It's not an easy thing to do, determining well, what is normal aging and what is a sign of dementia?" Hein says.

She adds that a full test for Alzheimer's includes a family history, blood work, and discussions with loved ones.

Hein says patients or family members should ask for this FULL screening if the patient starts to show signs of dementia at home.