Researchers at the University of Wisconsin have found three new possible early indicators that a person might be developing Alzheimer's or another form of cognitive impairment.
Scientists still do not know exactly how Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia work. They are not sure of the causes.
They do not know how to diagnose the disease in its earliest possible stages. They also do not know how to prevent it.
One thing that is known is this: if the disease can be caught early, then it is possible to slow its development.
The University of Wisconsin recently released the results of a decade long study that found three possible things that could be early signs of Alzheimer's disease, according to the Washington Post in "Hearing loss, diminished verbal fluency and hospitalizations can signal cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease, studies find."
The study tracked 783 people who had signed up for an Alzheimer's prevention program, because they had family who got the disease.
What did the researchers discover?
Those who suffered from a loss of hearing were more likely to become cognitively impaired.
They also found that people who suffered from slight losses in verbal communication skills were more likely to become cognitively impaired. These were people whose language became less sophisticated and specific, and people who took longer to express the same thoughts than they previously did.
They also found that people who began to need hospitalization in emergency situations more frequently, were more likely to become cognitively impaired.
This study could be an important step in discovering how to diagnose Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia as early as possible.
Reference: Washington Post (July 17, 2017) "Hearing loss, diminished verbal fluency and hospitalizations can signal cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease, studies find."