What is a “Cognoscopy” and Should You Get One?
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is expected to quadruple by 2050 to 14 million cases in the US. It (along with the larger category of dementia) is currently the leading cause of death in the UK, and is expected to claim the same role in the US. As heart disease and cancer become better-treated and less fatal, Alzheimer’s is taking their place.
So, how can you be proactive about facing your risk of developing this illness? If you have close relatives afflicted with Alzheimer’s, you could be understandably terrified of developing it yourself. You may be doing some things you consider preventive and hoping that you are lucky and don’t “catch” it.
Conventional wisdom considers AD untreatable and fatal. While IF untreated, Alzheimer’s is certainly fatal, treatment options do exist, and the earlier it is detected, the better the prognosis.
If you are 45 or older, and especially if a close relative has developed AD, consider getting a group of tests known as a “cognoscopy.”
What is tested?
A cognoscopy is a term coined by Dr. Dale Bredesen and refers to a thorough screen, recommended to be done at 45, to see what your risk of developing AD is. Blood tests, genetic tests, mental status exams and an MRI to measure brain volume can give you and your doctor an excellent idea of your risk and, more importantly, what you need to do to address it.
Alzheimer’s has 36 possible “holes”, or causes, and doing a cognoscopy can reveal which ones you may have, and how to “plug” them.
Ideally, I would have all my patients 45 or older do a cognoscopy, as I believe so strongly in the importance and effectiveness of a strategy to detect cognitive decline in its earliest stages and prevent its progression. Practically, I would like as many as possible to do one, or some of its components.
For more information, including how to get the testing done, possible cost and a possible plan of action, feel free to contact the office at 860-584-5746.