February is Black History Month — an important time to highlight the fact that African-Americans are two times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease than whites and less likely to have a diagnosis of their condition. African-Americans are also at greater risk than whites for health problems like high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol, which is concerning since overall wellness is a factor in brain health.
The warning signs of Alzheimer’s may be dismissed by many Americans as normal aging. To help, the Alzheimer's Association® has created a list of 10 Warning Signs for Alzheimer's and other dementias:
1. Memory loss that disrupts daily life.
2. Challenges in planning or solving problems.
3. Difficulty completing familiar tasks.
4. Confusion with time or place.
5. Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships.
6. New problems with words in speaking or writing.
7. Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps.
8. Decreased or poor judgement.
9. Withdrawal from work or social activities.
10. Changes in mood and personality.
If you or someone you care about is experiencing any of the 10 warning signs, please see a doctor to find the cause. Early detection enables people to obtain an accurate diagnosis, receive maximum benefit from available treatments and plan for the future.
By working together, we hope to reduce the risk factors and reverse the growing trend of Alzheimer's disease among African-Americans. Everyone can help by sharing the 10 Warning Signs. For more information, visit .alz.org/africanamerican or call 800.272.3900.