National Assisted Living Week * September 10 – 16, 2023
SYNAPS Dx (SDx) is observing September 10 – 16 as National Assisted Living Week (NALW) to support those residing in assisted living communities, their families and the selflessness of staff members and volunteers within these communities.
The 2023 theme “Season of Reflection” provides the opportunity to properly thank and show appreciation for the staff and volunteers who tirelessly work to make communities across the country a loving home for those transitioning into assisted living.
During this observance, NALW promotes the importance of healthy physical and mental aging, primarily cognitive function. While there is a common misconception that symptoms of dementia are a normal aspect of the aging process, the indications of mild cognitive impairment (MCI), dementia and AD are not normal signs of aging.
Healthy Cognitive Aging
These communities will be front-line participants in addressing a growing number of aging adults, with experts predicting there will be 13 million people with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) by 2050.
Seniors living in assisted living communities typically have easier access to services that help with daily tasks, such as medication monitoring, housekeeping and personal care. They also enjoy social and recreational activities that can help with overall cognitive function. Assisted living communities offer activities such as group exercise classes, mental stimulation activities, volunteering opportunities and more, all of which can help lower dementia risk.
But for older adults, social isolation and loneliness are overlooked social determinants of health (SDoH), with research showing that social isolation and loneliness have a serious impact on older people’s physical and mental health, quality of life and their longevity.
Be Sure With DISCERN™
When dementia symptoms develop, including memory loss or forgetfulness, it’s important to know if an individual is accurately diagnosed with Alzheimer’s — not non-Alzheimer’s dementia – which can be managed with different interventions, such as lifestyle changes. An early diagnosis of AD, however, can help to alleviate anxiety for older Americans and their families and get them started sooner on the right AD therapeutic journey.
AD is a complex disease. The build-up of toxic proteins in the brain known as amyloid beta clumps together to form plaques, causing brain cells to die. In a healthy brain, the amyloid beta proteins are broken down by enzymes, stopping them from building up in the brain. While the presence of amyloid is regarded a hallmark of AD at death, it is not correlated with synaptic loss, the strongest correlate for cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s.
As a result, in absence of AD diagnostic tools in the primary care and community setting, it has been challenging for clinicians to accurately diagnose AD: 50% to 70% of symptomatic AD patients are not correctly diagnosed in primary care and 25% to 30% are misdiagnosed in specialized memory clinics.
SDx points to DISCERN™, the first autopsy-validated, highly accurate and minimally invasive test available to support a clinician’s definitive diagnosis of AD, even in people recently diagnosed with dementia. This helps patients and caregivers determine if symptoms truly are from AD versus other, possibly curable conditions such as non-Alzheimer’s dementia, which can be managed to halt the progression of disease. This gives individuals with a confirmed diagnosis an opportunity to get the right treatment plan sooner, access new, FDA drugs and gain greater peace of mind.
DISCERN is recognized as the world’s only Gold Standard Validated benchmark to offer such clinical insight and is the first AD test of its kind to be paid for by Medicare. The autopsy-validated accuracy from a simple skin test performed in a clinician’s office positions DISCERN as a key solution to reduce the misdiagnosis rate of AD across the healthcare system and inform an early and accurate diagnosis of AD, the first step in assessing patients for therapeutic intervention.
To learn more about DISCERN, visit: https://www.discerntest.com