Aging Well June 29th

I can never remember where I parked the car; can’t even remember eating my banana; and what I do remember – I find out never happened. Sound familiar? And because of these memory lapses, you may have considered taking a “memory screening” test – offered at pharmacies or health fares – to see if this “forgetfulness” is something you should worry about – such as the early stages of Alzheimer’s Disease.

But according to Nicole Wood in her article on the Healthy Aging Magazine’s Web site there is a debate among Alzheimer disease experts regarding the value of “memory screenings”.

The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA) believe these memory screenings – which can take as little as ten minutes – can detect cognitive issues before memory loss becomes a problem. In addition, a positive screening result would commence a conversation between the individual and their doctor and encourage the doctor to recommend additional evaluation. But AFA makes it clear – a screening is not a diagnosis.

But the critics, including the Alzheimer’s Association, are concerned that these memory screenings are inaccurate and produce a high level of false positives. Even though physicians have successfully diagnosed Alzheimer Disease patients, it requires a battery of tests including extensive physical, neurological, psychological and mental exams. And even then, one out of ten diagnoses is incorrect.

In addition many patients who receive poor scores at mass screenings do not follow up with their physicians for a complete diagnosis. John Trojanowski, MD, PhD, director of the Alzheimer’s Disease Center at the University of Pennsylvania, has called the 10-minute memory screening exams useless. And rather than memory screenings, the Alzheimer’s Association promotes “cognitive surveillance” between patients and their physicians.

However both sides of this debate agree that a healthy lifestyle including exercising, both physical and cognitive, staying socially active and engaged, and reducing stress and anxiety can help prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s Disease no matter how well you score on a memory test.

There can be many causes for forgetfulness and memory loss including urinary track infections, side effects of medications, and depression. If you have concerns talk to your physician to better understand and diagnosis the reasons for your memory lapses. But a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease can have serious consequences and should be offered after a careful and thorough evaluation. .

Tuesday Night music is seldom canceled – only if it snows – and since there’s no snow on the Klickitats, the Strawberry Mountain Band will be back playing on the 6th for your dancing and listening pleasure. And tonight it’s “Martin and Friends”. The house starts shaking at 7:00 and everyone but their dog is invited. The price is non-existent but the fun isn’t.

The Center is still accepting donated items for its rummage sale on July 8th, 9th and 10th opening up at 9:00 am each of those three days. And the main event is Saturday when Meals-on-Wheels will add their yard sale plus hot dogs and cotton candy. We will have spaces available ($15 a space) if you want to sell your own items or have your own “table” sale. Contact the Center for more information.

A quick plug for The Dalles Farmers’ Market at the City Park from 8am – 1 pm every Saturday through October. They have fresh produce, meat, eggs, local honey, fresh cut flowers, hand spun and dyed yarn, as well as skin care products. Good natural healthy stuff. And you can even find them on Facebook. .

Of all the responses identifying Ted Mack as the host for the Original Amateur Hour TV show, John Layson was the winner of a free Saturday breakfast during Ft. Dalles weekend. This next “Remember When” question may be a challenge. The Sunday night Ed Sullivan show was always a must see when I was growing up – I didn’t want to miss the big stars of the day. But there was one character that was on the show over 50 times and even closed the final Ed Sullivan Show in 1971. What was the name of the Italian puppet that would end the Ed Sullivan show by saying “Eddie, Keesa me goo’night!”? Call 541-296-4788 or email with the correct answer for a chance to win a free Saturday breakfast.

Well the alarm has rung again – time to rollover and go back to sleep. Until we meet again, don’t let the past be your future.

“Adventure is just bad planning.” – Roald Amundsen Norwegian Arctic & Antarctic explorer (1872 – 1928)

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