Nearly 5.4 million people are affected by Alzheimer's disease and it happens to be the sixth leading cause of death.
In such a scenario, timely diagnosis of Alzheimer's is crucial as it can make a world of difference to patients and their families. Mainly, it will prevent the loss of time when medication can actually work to slow down memory loss. This will also give families valuable time to spend with their loved ones and make plans for the future.
It is also quite unfortunate that sometimes there is a delay on the part of physicians to diagnose the condition. In certain cases of early-onset Alzheimer's, in those below the age of 65, physicians also display reluctance to make a quick diagnosis. Families are sometimes frustrated seeking help as physicians just miss out on spotting dementia-like symptoms in younger people.
''Many providers find it hard to believe that someone so young could have dementia or Alzheimer's," said Elizabeth Edgerly, the Alzheimer's Association of Northern California's chief program officer.
''It's a challenge for primary care physicians. I tend to see them adapting a number of strategies. When someone has memory complaints, they get a brain scan and get the patient on memory-enhancing drugs. The other strategy is to minimize the complaint until the situation gets more severe."