Many seniors suffer mental decline in silence - Mid-South News, Weather, Traffic and Sports | FOX13

Many seniors suffer mental decline in silence

Updated: May 9, 2013 02:59 PM EDT
&copy iStockphoto / Thinkstock © iStockphoto / Thinkstock
  • HealthMore>>

  • A little wine might help kidneys stay healthy

    A little wine might help kidneys stay healthy

    An occasional glass of wine might help keep your kidneys healthy, new research suggests.
    An occasional glass of wine might help keep your kidneys healthy, new research suggests.
  • People seek out health info when famous person dies

    People seek out health info when famous person dies

    WEDNESDAY, April 23, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The deaths of well-known people offer an opportunity to educate the general public about disease detection and prevention, a new study suggests. Researchers surveyed 1,400 American men and women after Apple co-founder Steve Jobs died of pancreatic cancer in 2011 and learned that more than one-third of them sought information about his cause of death or information about cancer in general soon after his death was reported. About 7 percent of th...
    WEDNESDAY, April 23, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The deaths of well-known people offer an opportunity to educate the general public about disease detection and prevention, a new study suggests. Researchers surveyed 1,400 American men and women after Apple co-founder Steve Jobs died of pancreatic cancer in 2011 and learned that more than one-third of them sought information about his cause of death or information about cancer in general soon after his death was reported. About 7 percent of th...
  • Mental illness not a driving force behind crime

    Mental illness not a driving force behind crime

    TUESDAY, April 22, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Less than 10 percent of crimes committed by mentally ill people are directly linked to the symptoms of their disorders, a new study shows. "When we hear about crimes committed by people with mental illness, they tend to be big headline-making crimes, so they get stuck in people's heads," said study author Jillian Peterson, a psychology professor at Normandale Community College in Bloomington, Minn. "The vast majority of people with mental illness a...
    TUESDAY, April 22, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Less than 10 percent of crimes committed by mentally ill people are directly linked to the symptoms of their disorders, a new study shows. "When we hear about crimes committed by people with mental illness, they tend to be big headline-making crimes, so they get stuck in people's heads," said study author Jillian Peterson, a psychology professor at Normandale Community College in Bloomington, Minn. "The vast majority of people with mental illness a...

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, May 9 (HealthDay News) -- About 13 percent of Americans 60 and older say they have increasing problems with thinking and memory and that they suffer growing confusion, a new report released Thursday shows.

One-third of these people add that the confusion or memory loss caused problems at work or with social activities and household chores, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The findings underscore the need to be alert for early signs of dementia or Alzheimer's disease, experts said.

"This is the first data of this kind," said report co-author Angela Deokar, a CDC public health advisor. In 2011, older adults from 21 states answered survey items on whether they'd suffered increased confusion or memory loss in the past year.

According to Deokar, signs to look out for include the following:

-Asking the same questions over and over again,
-Getting lost in familiar places,
-Not being able to follow directions,
-Becoming more confused about time, people and places.

These problems go beyond normal forgetfulness, Deokar said.

Since this is the first such report, it is not possible to see if there is an increasing trend or if these data are similar throughout the nation, she said. The survey is ongoing, however, so in a couple of years more information should be available.

The report was published in the May 10 issue of the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

People experiencing cognitive decline -- the gradual loss of the ability to think, reason and remember -- can face considerable challenges. Even so, only 35 percent of them have discussed the problem with their doctor, the researchers found.

Such conversations are important, because they make planning for the future easier as a person's mental health continues to decline, according to the report.

A dementia expert noted that these kinds of symptoms should be taken seriously.

People experiencing them "should have thorough medical exams to exclude treatable metabolic or cardiac diseases," said Dr. Sam Gandy, associate director of the Mount Sinai Alzheimer's Disease Research Center, in New York City.

Report co-author Deokar noted that people with these symptoms can reach out to the aging services network, including agencies on aging and the Alzheimer's Association.

When causes of mental decline are identified early there is the opportunity to treat reversible causes, the report authors said. If the cause isn't reversible, as with Alzheimer's disease, there is more time to develop advance directives, to enroll in clinical trials and to plan for care needs.

More information

To learn about Alzheimer's disease, visit the Alzheimer's Association.

Health News Copyright © 2013 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

*DISCLAIMER*: The information contained in or provided through this site section is intended for general consumer understanding and education only and is not intended to be and is not a substitute for professional advice. Use of this site section and any information contained on or provided through this site section is at your own risk and any information contained on or provided through this site section is provided on an "as is" basis without any representations or warranties.
Powered by WorldNow

WHBQ-TV | Fox 13
485 S. Highland St.
Memphis, TN 38111

Main Station: (901) 320-1313
Newsroom: (901) 320-1340

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices