Most people assign older age as the primary cause of early signs of cognitive impairment. However, while it's true that certain cognitive changes are inevitable when it comes to aging, major memory problems are not one of them. Self-realization of 'Cognitive Decline' is when someone notices difficulty in remembering things, verbalizing sentences, planning daily activities etc. This condition is known as Subjective Memory Complaint or SMC which is usually the earliest sign of Alzheimer's Disease or other dementia related diseases. Although SMC could be caused by depression or other factors, research indicates increasing evidence of SMC being the early indication of Alzheimer's or other dementia. And since older adults with SMCs are at a higher risk of decline, it is not only wise but also necessary for them to take an early cognitive assessment to assess their mental health.
Early assessment followed by a timely diagnosis is extremely important for the success of therapy trials, where earlier intervention might be the key to producing positive treatment and prevention results. An early assessment of cognitive decline and the knowledge of associated risk factors provides a significant leverage to every older adult above 50 yrs.
recommends yearly cognitive assessment for those older adults who show early signs of cognitive decline until a clear diagnosis for dementia is reached. Unfortunately, there are many barriers in the current structure of the medical health insurance system which make it hard to follow through with this recommendation. Consequently, the vicious cycle of ‘unawareness' continues in spite of Alzheimer's being the number one feared disease in America today. 5 million Americans are being affected by Alzheimer's and nearly 300,000 people are going to be affected by 2030 in Los Angeles alone. If the current pattern continues, then for many of the affected, diagnosis would occur too late.
This is the need gap that Mind LA is committed to address. Mind LA helps anyone above the age of 50, living in LA, to TAKE THE FIRST STEP towards assessing their cognitive health by providing free cognitive assessment. Not only that, Mind LA is also committed to disrupt the vicious cycle of 'unawareness' through its Triangle of Hope.