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MONEY TROUBLE

PROBLEMS HANDLING FINANCES MAY BE THE FIRST SIGN OF ENCROACHING DEMENTIA, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS

Older people who start having trouble paying their bills and managing their bank accounts may be showing the first visible signs of dementia, a recent study concluded.  Michelle Bellantoni, a geriatrics expert at Johns Hopkins, thinks the study conclusions are valid.

BELLANTONI:  I wasn’t surprised by the findings of this study in that handling finances requires high level of executive function, and that type of function may be the first to be obvious when there is early dementia.  It’s very reasonable to informally review finances and management of finances, and to be alert when someone is unwilling to share concerns, or to have  informal discussion of these topics.   :25

Bellantoni says caregivers and loved ones can be alert to this kind of trouble and seek an expert evaluation.  Since more interventions and medications for Alzheimer’s disease are being developed all the time, early recognition that a problem exists will give these strategies their best chance of success.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.



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