Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement at Cleveland ClinicQuestions to Ask Your Doctor
IF YOU'RE IN YOUR 20s, 30s AND 40s:
Your diet and exercise habits will impact the health of your brain so ask your doctor what is the best approach for you. Be sure to ask about any vitamins, supplements and hormones—including birth control—that you are taking.
Pregnancy causes hormonal changes including after you’ve given birth and during/after breast feeding. Take notes about any signs of postpartum depression, and review them with your doctor.
IF YOU'RE IN YOUR 40s AND 50s:
The start of menopause includes hormonal transitions that may impact memory changes. Talk to your doctor if you are depressed, moody, or having a hard time focusing. Ask about hormone therapy and any associated cognitive impacts.
Some cancer treatments and chemotherapies that suppress estrogen production may affect brain health. Many women experience “brain fog” and “chemo brain” which are not the same as Alzheimer’s. However, because estrogen loss may impact your long-term risk, ask for a plan tailored just for you.
IF YOU'RE IN YOUR 60s AND BEYOND:
If you are experiencing forgetfulness, trouble with language, memory loss or other symptoms that concern you, you may ask to see a geriatrician or neurologist. It doesn't mean you have Alzheimer's and/or dementia, but a specialist can help to narrow down the cause and any potential treatments or lifestyle changes that may be helpful.
Requesting a consultation with a neurologist would be the first step. The neurologist may then recommend a work-up that can include brain scans, bloodwork, cognitive testing, and/or other tests. The combination of tests advised depends on the nature of your concerns and other pieces of your history and background. If interested in participating in research studies or clinical trials, discuss possible participation with your healthcare team.