Did you know that one in nine adults in the United States suffers from cognitive decline? This condition comes along with factors like memory problems, thinking delays, and more. Unfortunately, a significant decline in cognitive health can begin to affect your quality of life.
The key to cognitive decline is catching it early. The sooner you catch it, the better your prognosis will be.
To catch this condition early, you need to get cognitive lab tests. The results from a cognitive blood test will tell you whether or not you may be suffering from significant cognitive decline.
To learn more about cognitive decline and getting a cognitive test, keep reading. There's so much more you need to know.
What Is a Decline in Cognitive Health?
A decline in cognitive health is the middle-ground between normal age-related brain decline and dementia-like changes. It describes slight but noticeable changes in the way that the brain processes and presents information.
You may also hear healthcare professionals refer to this condition as mild cognitive impairment (MCI).
A decline in cognitive health may affect your thinking, language, memory, and judgment skills. You and those around you may start noticing slips in your cognitive ability. Naturally, these slips will become worse over time.
Usually, individuals and their families notice these changes before they harshly affect the individual's quality of life. However, there are some cases in which cognitive decline goes on for a while before family members notice it.
Be sure to keep a close eye on your family members and friends. Don't dismiss changes in cognitive ability with aging. Some symptoms could be more serious than you may think.
Risk Factors for a Decline in Cognitive Health
The most prominent risk factor for cognitive decline is age. As we age, we're bound to feel the effects of aging on our cognitive ability.
With this in mind, you should never dismiss a change in cognitive health as a sign of aging. You should always let your physician know about noticeable changes.
Another risk factor is the presence of the APOE e4 gene. This specific gene is linked with Alzheimer's disease, although not every person with the gene has Alzheimer's.
In addition to these two risk factors, there are a few other lifestyle factors related to cognitive decline:
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Hypercholesteremia (high cholesterol)
- Lack of adequate exercise
- Lack of mentally stimulating activities
If you have any of these risk factors, you should talk to your healthcare provider about activities and exercises that are appropriate for you to do. These can stimulate the neurons and enhance brain activity, even if some cognitive decline has already occurred.
Causes of Cognitive Health Decline
There is no singular cause for cognitive health decline. There is also no singular outcome for the condition.
Unfortunately, cognitive functioning exists on a case-by-case basis. This means that your experience with a decline in cognitive functioning will not be the same as another person's experience with a decline in cognitive functioning.
Those who experience cognitive decline may have stable symptoms, progressive symptoms that could lead to Alzheimer's or similar conditions, or improving symptoms. Unfortunately, the person experiencing cognitive decline doesn't have control over which kind of condition they develop.
Each kind of mild cognitive impairment has its own cause(s). Autopsies performed on these patients have shown a wide range of functional and structural changeswithin the brain. These include clumps of proteins in the brain, the presence of Lewy bodies, evidence of small strokes, a shrunken hippocampus, an enlargement of the ventricles, and reduced use of glucose.
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of a Decline in Cognitive Health?
Because the brain affects every part of the body, those with cognitive decline are likely to notice many signs and symptoms. However, the most common ones include problems with memory, thinking, judgment, and language.
If you notice that a loved one isn't remembering easy things or can't think or talk like they used to, you should encourage them to see their healthcare provider.
How Is Cognitive Health Decline Diagnosed?
The most common way of diagnosing cognitive health decline is through cognitive lab tests. These blood and urine tests can help your healthcare provider understand what's going on inside your body that could be causing changes in your mental state.
In addition to cognitive labs, your healthcare provider may also want to order brain scans like a CT or an MRI to rule out a tumor or other structural change.
The Lab Tests to Screen, Diagnose, and Monitor Cognitive Health Decline
There are plenty of tests that healthcare providers can use to see whether or not you have cognitive health decline:
- ADmark ApoE Genotype Analysis
- Bilirubin, Fractionated
- C-Reactive Protein (CRP)
- Cardio IQ™ Apolipoprotein A-1
- Cardio IQ™ Apolipoprotein B
- Complete Blood Count (CBC) with Differential and Platelets Blood Test
- Comprehensive Metabolic Panel (CMP)
- Cortisol, A.M.
- Cortisol, P.M.
- Creatine Kinase (CK), Total
- Dementia, Secondary Causes Panel
- DHEA Sulfate, Immunoassay
- Fibrinogen Activity, Clauss
- FSH and LH
- Gamma Glutamyl Transferase (GGT)
- Hemoglobin A1c (HgbA1C)
- C-Reactive Protein Cardiac (hs-CRP)
- IGF-I, LC/MS
- Iron and Total Iron Binding Capacity (TIBC)
- Lactate Dehydrogenase (LD) (LDH)
- Lead, Blood
- Lipid Panel
- Lipoprotein (A)
- Mercury, Blood
- Progesterone, Immunoassay
- PTH, Intact (without Calcium)
- Vitamin D, 25-Hydroxyvitamin D (D2, D3), LC/MS/MS (QuestAssureD™)
- Sed Rate by Modified Westergren (ESR)
- Serotonin, Serum
- Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG)
- T3 Reverse, LC/MS/MS
- T3 Total
- T3 Uptake
- T3, Free
- T4 (Thyroxine), Total
- T4, Free
- Testosterone, Total, MS
- Thyroid Peroxidase and Thyroglobulin Antibodies
- Uric Acid
- Urinalysis, Complete
- Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin) and Folate Panel, Serum
- VLDL Cholesterol
- Magnesium, RBC
- Phosphate (as Phosphorus)
- Pregnenolone, LC/MS/MS
- F2-Isoprostane/Creatinine Ratio
- Cardio IQ™ ApoE Genotype
- Drug Screen, Clinical 1 without Confirmation, Serum
- Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)
Get Cognitive Health Lab Testing With Ulta Lab Tests
Ulta Lab Tests offers tests that are highly accurate and reliable so you can make informed decisions about your health. Here are a few great things to love about Ulta Lab Tests:
- You'll get secure and confidential results
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Order your cognitive lab tests today and your results will be provided to you securely and confidentially online in 24 to 48 hours for most tests.
Take control with Ulta Lab Tests today!