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Alzheimer's Disease Never An Easy Subject, Says Elder Law Attorney Andrew H. Hook

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va., Nov. 29, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Researchers at UCLA have reported the development of a molecular compound, CLR01, which has been found to prevent toxic proteins from binding together to kill the brain's neurons. Though the research first focused on Parkinson's disease, they believe Alzheimer's disease may be triggered in part by a similar binding, with different proteins involved.

While the research is encouraging, there is a long way to go before Alzheimer's disease is considered preventable. The best treatment for Alzheimer's right now is to catch it early and then work to slow the symptoms. Alzheimer's disease is diagnosed via an extensive evaluation done by a qualified clinician, looking to rule out other potential causes of the symptoms of dementia. There is also a basic memory screening test which can evaluate language skills, memory, and cognitive abilities. While it cannot detect Alzheimer's definitively at this time, the basic memory screening test can indicate whether further screening is recommended and provide a baseline. 

"The problem with early diagnosis is that many people are so afraid that they do not seek medical attention in a timely fashion," says Virginia elder law attorney Andrew H. Hook. "It can be uncomfortable for a loved one to even broach the subject."

The Alzheimer's Foundation of America has released a list of tips to help concerned individuals speak with their loved one about a possible need for memory screening. Tips include:

  • Acknowledging worry. It is fine to tell the individual that memory issues can be a cause for concern and testing is the best way to find out if there is something going on.
  • Asking for help. Enlist the individual's physician to run a memory screening at the next visit or ask for a neurology referral.
  • Making it personal:  Mention that "It would make me feel better" for them to get a medical "all clear."
  • Framing it as preventative. Explain that there are new techniques to help avoid memory loss with aging and part of that effort includes a memory screening.
  • Keep it simple. Many people have a strong emotional reaction to the name "Alzheimer's." Just present it as a memory screening as part of a regular checkup done after a certain age.

To learn more or to contact a Virginia estate planning lawyer, visit http://www.hooklawcenter.com/.

SOURCE Hook Law Center

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