As part of the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America’s (AFA) National Memory Screening Program, Marywood University in Scranton, Pa., will offer free, confidential memory screenings on Tuesday, November 12, 2019. Screenings will be held from 9 a.m. – 7 p.m., in the Psychological Services Center at the McGowan Center for Graduate and Professional Studies.
Qualified healthcare professionals will administer the memory screenings and provide educational materials about memory concerns, brain health, and caregiving. According to the event organizer, Brooke Cannon, Ph.D., professor of psychology and clinical neuropsychologist, “Annual memory screenings, similar to regular physical exams, allow for identification of potential cognitive problems and monitoring of already existing impairment.”
Trained and supervised by Dr. Cannon, advanced clinical psychology doctoral students will administer the face-to-face screenings, which consist of a series of questions and tasks and last approximately ten minutes.
Memory screenings are an important part of successful aging and are becoming more popular. Last year alone, the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA) screened more than 250,000 people through its National Memory Screening Program (NMSP). Further, a recent study by the American Academy of Neurology suggests that screenings may detect cognitive impairment up to 18 years prior to clinical diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.
AFA suggests memory screenings for anyone concerned about memory loss, or experiencing warning signs of dementia, and whose family and friends have noticed changes in them; for those who believe they are at risk, due to a family history of dementia; or for those who want to see how their memory is now and for future comparisons. Warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease include forgetting people’s names and events, asking repetitive questions, loss of verbal or written skills, confusion and personality changes.
Screeners emphasize that results are not a diagnosis, and encourage individuals who score below the normal threshold, as well as those who still have concerns, to see their primary care physician for a thorough evaluation.
Currently, there are more than 5 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease, and that number is expected to nearly triple by mid-century. Advanced age is the greatest known risk factor for the disease, which results in loss of memory and other intellectual functions, and Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.
For additional information about the Memory Screenings at Marywood University, please call the Psychology and Counseling department at, (570) 348-6270, or visit www.marywood.edu/psychology-counseling/about/