Spotting cognitive decline early is critical for successfully fighting back against the condition. And it could even help you avoid progressing to the ultimate nightmare of dementia.
But don’t rush out to take a test just yet. And if you’ve already had one, you might want to revisit the results. Or maybe even consider a do-over.
Because there’s one nearly always overlooked factor that could toss all of those results right out the window. And most doctors aren’t even aware they need to look for it.
So today, I’m going to reveal the potential hitch in the giddy-up that you need to know about BEFORE taking a cognitive decline test. Because checking for this factor first, could ensure that the results you get are accurate and meaningful.
Cognitive decline can be misdiagnosed
Imagine showing up for your cognitive decline test. You sit down at the table for the written part. And then someone hands you an exam in Chinese.
You’d know right away something was wrong, of course. So you’d tell the doctor. And hopefully, he will apologize and hand you the correct version.
Yet something very similar routinely happens during cognitive tests. And doctors and patients alike often DON’T spot it.
People are given tests they can’t fully read and understand because they have undiagnosed vision problems.
You know the ones I’m talking about. The kind we often “learn to live with.” Or so we think, not realizing how much it can impact our reading and comprehension.
The new study finds common conditions such as cataracts and macular degeneration could lead to false results on the written portions of those exams.
The researchers gave 24 healthy adults a test for cognitive decline twice. The first test was taken in normal conditions. And the second one was given while the volunteers wore lenses that mimic the splotchy, blurry eyesight of someone with age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
In both cases, the volunteers did just fine on the VERBAL portion of the test, in which a doctor asked the questions. But the written part was another story.
Once the participants put on the glasses, their scores plunged. It’s a clear sign that many people with undiagnosed AMD and other visual problems could be told they have cognitive decline when, in fact, they don’t.
Spot AMD and get the RIGHT test results
You might think it’s hard to miss AMD. But incredibly, studies show half of all cases are undiagnosed.
Many folks overlook the signs because our brains are very clever about compensating for the missing visual cues. And others are simply in denial over it.
But like cognitive decline, AMD is a condition in which there’s no time to lose. Because if it’s spotted early enough, it can be treated. The proven natural vision supplement called AREDS 2 could dramatically slow the condition’s progression.
Unfortunately, one study found nearly a third of cases that SHOULD have been caught early and treated are missed during that vital stage. And patients suffer when they don’t have to.
So if you haven’t had your peepers checked lately, get that taken care of right away. And ideally, do it BEFORE any cognitive exam you may have scheduled.
If you’ve had the test already and got some alarming results, don’t assume it’s really cognitive decline. Find out if undiagnosed vision problems may have played a role.
If so, talk with your doctor about retaking the tests with corrected vision or in an alternate format designed for people with vision loss.
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