Thursday, August 26, 2021
Learning your odds of eventually developing dementia requires medical testing and counseling. However, everyday behavior may provide early warning signs of dementia. Examples of this everyday behavior include overlooking a couple of credit card payments, habitually braking while driving, and others.
According to Sayeh Bayat, the lead author of a driving study funded by the National Institutes of Health and conducted at Washington University in St. Louis, "[e]arly detection is key for intervention, at the stage when that would be most effective."
These efforts could help "identify potential volunteers for clinical trials, researchers say, and help protect older people against financial abuse and other dangers."
Many once-promising dementia drugs have failed int rials, which researchers suggest may be due to the drugs being administered too late to be helpful.
By identifying risks earlier, before the brain has sustained a great amount of damage, researchers could more easily find a pool of participants with "preclinical" Alzheimer's disease. Researchers could then test preventive measures or treatments.
See Paula Span, Seeking Early Signals of Dementia in Driving and Credit Scores, N.Y. Times, August 23, 2021.
Special thanks to Lewis Saret (Attorney, Washington, D.C.) for bringing this article to my attention.