HOUSTON (KIAH) – September is World Alzheimer’s Awareness Month. There are an estimated 400,00 Texans currently living with Alzheimer’s or dementia, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. They expect that number to jump at least 20% by the year 2025.
A common question doctors explain concerns the differences between normal aging and what could be red flags for Alzheimer’s.
Dr. Alan Stevens, applied health researcher at Baylor Scott & White, uses the example of misplacing your keys. With normal age related cognitive decline, you may misplace your keys, but eventually find them.
“But now, when you don’t know what a key is, or you don’t know that the key is associated with the car, that’s where’s the distinction between an everyday problem of I can’t find my keys to one that’s going to impair my life,” said Dr. Stevens.
Dr. Stevens also says people use Alzheimer’s and dementia interchangeably, but they aren’t the same.
Dementia is an umbrella term used to describe symptoms, while Alzheimer’s is a specific disease.