Friday, August 29, 2014

Sage Test Reminder

I've noticed myself struggling to remember a word here and there.  Recently, it took me a minute to remember the name of Richard Dawkins and at work I completely forgot the name of a form I wanted to show a colleague.  Of course, I found the form after our meeting was over and was able to send it to him.  I also have realized that I may ask a question more than once of my husband or my eldest and, I hate to admit, I have actually forgotten small conversations that my husband and I have had in the past year.  So what does this mean?  Is it time to worry?

I have also been asked by a couple of people this week if I was concerned that I am at risk for early on-set Alzheimer's because of my sister's diagnosis.  As I explained to both people, we don't know if Lyn's Alzheimer's is connected to her intellectual disability, a genetic mutation or a family trait.  Alzheimer's has been evident in my Grandmother and her sisters before they passed.  Their Alzheimer's, however, was not early on-set and the ladies all passed well into their 80s or 90s.  Lyn is the only family member that we know of with early on-set Alzheimer's.  As a result, I tend to suspect it is either a mutation or connected to her birth and her disability.

In both conversations, one was with one of my doctors, the individual pressed on the issue asking me if I forgot things that I shouldn't.  I laughingly gave the examples cited above and said "...but we all do that."  I may misplace my keys but I still know what they look like and when I find them, I know what they are.  When I was groping to find the name of Richard Dawkins, I stated "Oh, you know!  He's been on 'Inside Nature's Giants' and is friends with Christopher Hitchens."  Don't ask me why Mr. Hitchens name came to mind when I'm much more familiar with Mr. Dawkins work.  It was just the connections my brain was trying to make to get to the name I wanted.

My doctor asked if I could take a test that would give me insight, would I?  I told her about the Sage Tests and promised to take one again.  It has been about 8 months since the last time I took the test.  Previously, I took test 4 and this time I took test 2.  After taking the two tests, I can see how one grading schema can be applied to all four tests.  I am pleased to report that my score has not changed.

There's nothing for me to worry about.  These minor memory burps are not early signs of dementia.  These are the signs of a person who is juggling a full-time job, an active family, the blog and other personal hobbies.  These are the signs of a normal person who is choosing to focus on some things more than others.

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