Letters to the Editor

Remember to talk to your doctor

New data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found 12.9 percent of respondents ages 45 and older in Mississippi reported increased confusion or memory loss, and 67.4 percent said that it interfered with daily life. Despite known benefits of early detection, 54.4 percent of individuals with increased memory problems reported they had not discussed their symptoms with a health care provider.

This data comes from the Cognitive Module of the 2015 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, a public health survey conducted annually by states in coordination with the CDC, in which participants are asked questions about memory problems.

The data release coincides with National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month and National Family Caregivers Month. During November, Americans recognize the impact of caregiving and honor the more than 15 million Americans caring for someone with Alzheimer’s.

While today there is no way to cure, prevent or slow the progression of the disease, early and documented diagnosis when coupled with access to care planning services leads to better outcomes for individuals with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers.

Thank you to Mississippi’s Department of Health and the Department of Mental Health for your support throughout this process. This data strengthens our collective efforts to inform Mississippians about ways to promote and improve brain health.

We invite Sun Herald readers to visit alz.org/ms for more information and to get involved.

Mary Kim Smith, executive director

Alzheimer’s Association Mississippi Chapter