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brain Shrinkage question
Hello all, I am trying to get a little clarification. My mother is 64, she recently had an MRI that showed "stage 2 brain shrinkage". What does this mean? She says she will likely progress to alzhemiers/dementia, but was not diagnosed with either yet (not given meds or anything). And only scheduled a routine follow up. Very worried, any idea how quick it will come?
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1711789 tn?1361311607
Hi there!

Though commonly linked with Alzheimer’s and dementia, brain atrophy/ shrinkage is common with age and does not necessarily mean that it would lead to the development of Alzheimer’s. The pathophysiology of Alzheimer’s is not clearly understood though several risk factors and genetic correlations have been implicated. As long as she does not have any neurological concerns, I would not suspect this to be anything to be worried about yet. The idea is to avoid risk factors such as alcohol, factors that could lead to strokes etc and keep the brain active preferably in high function activities such as reading, puzzle solving etc.
Hope this is helpful.

Take care!
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Thanks for the info, as far as I have been told she has had small memory issues such as forgetting where she was going and other things such as this. (Had to be reminded where she was driving to)  However, how can you tell if this is normal age related forgetfulness or something more serious?  I have not seen anything too obvious myself  but will reccomned she continue to read and will get her some puzzle things.

Her mother my grandmother is 82 and is in stage 6 alzhimiers started around 13-14 years ago, so we do have a family history.

Thanks for your time.
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1530171 tn?1448133193
Hey cuzpach.

Brain shrinkage or atrophy starts in the 20s at an average rate of 1.90% per decade.
Once people get in to their  60's the rate can increase to up to 1% annually!
While some memory loss is age related and considered "normal" ,
there are too many variable factors that have to do with accelerated
memory loss and cognitive decline.
Some lifestyle related factors can be addressed, so that their contribution to further damage is lessened or arrested and along
with several mental activities and  exercises-as Dr Kaul mentioned-
all this should help with her memory issues.

At a cost of  approx. $1500.00 for genetic testing ( cost here in Canada)
you can find out about genetic factors, directly linked to Alzheimer's.
The only one gene that is known(so far) to lead to the development of alzheimer's (late stage onset) is apolipoprotein E APOE) if you wish to research this
There are 4 types of this gene and each of us has two copies.
We can know find out -according to which pair of APOE type-
about the genetic risk factor of getting alzheimer's and perhaps when.

Let me know if you need more details.
Take care.
Niko

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