National Memory Screening Day provides free, confidential memory
screenings to individuals concerned about memory loss with the objective
of early detection and intervention.
The event encourages Americans to participate by offering
screenings at no charge and in convenient locations in communities
across the nation. National Memory Screening Day also provides a
valuable opportunity to learn more about healthy lifestyle choices for
Why are memory screenings important?
- Memory screenings are a significant first step toward finding
out if a person may have a memory problem. Memory problems could be
caused by Alzheimer’s disease or other medical conditions.
- A memory screening is not used to diagnose any particular
illness and does not replace consultation with a qualified physician or
other healthcare professional. However, it is very helpful. A screening
can check a person’s memory and other thinking skills. It can indicate
if someone might benefit from a more complete medical visit.
- It is very important to identify the disease or problem that is causing memory loss. That is why a person should follow up for a complete checkup with a qualified healthcare professional.
- Some memory problems can be readily treated, such as those
caused by vitamin deficiencies or thyroid problems. Other memory
problems might result from causes that are not currently reversible,
such as Alzheimer’s disease. In general, the earlier the diagnosis, the
easier it is to treat one of these conditions.
- Early recognition of mild cognitive impairment (MCI)—mild memory loss that may eventually lead to dementia
—provides an opportunity for healthcare professionals to treat this
condition, and possibly slow down the changes in memory and other
- Early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease can improve quality of
life. Individuals with Alzheimer’s disease can learn more about the
disease, including available and emerging medical treatments; get
counseling and other social services support in their community; address
legal, financial and other planning issues; and have more of a say in
decision-making. Caregivers and other family members can take advantage
of community services, such as support groups, which can help them feel
better—physically and emotionally. They can discuss treatment, future
care and other issues with their loved ones, rather than having to make
decisions on their own.