Detecting Alzheimer's early [Letter]

I am responding to the letter from Dr. Andy Lazris entitled "Screening for Alzheimer's carries its own risks," (April 17).

The Alzheimer's Association supports efforts that increase early detection and diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease by trained professionals in a medical setting after a comprehensive evaluation.

Today more than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer's disease. With an aging baby boomer population, that number is expected to soar to as many as 16 million by mid-century. As more and more people continue to be touched by the disease, it will become increasingly important for people to recognize the warning signs of Alzheimer's disease and encourage those who might be experiencing memory loss to seek more information.

The Alzheimer's Association has developed a list of 10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer's to assist with that effort. If individuals have experienced any of the warning signs, it's important they seek a comprehensive diagnostic evaluation from a physician who is experienced in diagnosing and treating Alzheimer's. For more information, visit:

An early and definitive diagnosis is important in order to (a) inform patients and family members of the reason for the symptoms with greater certainty, (b) get them access to appropriate treatments, and (c) enable them to plan for their care before the disease takes away their ability to make competent decisions. Early diagnosis gives individuals the chance to seek support, information and community resources from organizations like the Alzheimer's Association, and families the time to equip themselves with the training and supportive resources they need as Alzheimer caregivers.

Cass Naugle

The writer is executive director of the Alzheimer's Association, Greater Maryland Chapter.

To respond to this letter, send an email to Please include your name and contact information.

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