Alzheimer’s early warning: falling for scams could be sign of dementia

(Kashmira Gander/ Newsweek) — Being easily tricked by scams could be a sign that an older person has the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, scientists have found.

The study published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine involved 935 older people in the greater Chicago metropolitan area who had not been diagnosed with dementia. The participants filled in a questionnaire to test their awareness of scams. It featured five questions designed to measure their openness to sales pitches, their attitudes towards risky investments, and how informed they were about scams targeting the eldery. Every year for the following six years, the participants underwent neuropsychological tests to check for Alzheimer’s and mild cognitive impairment.

Researchers at the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center in Chicago who led the research also performed brain autopsies on the 264 individuals who had died over the course of the study. The tests looked for the build up of beta-amyloid and tau tangles, both associated with Alzheimer’s disease. (…)

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