Most of us know at least one person who's living with alzheimer's. In all, more than 5 million Americans have it, and doctors diagnose a new case every 70 seconds.
Could you or someone you know be next?
"Every time I forget someone's name, or if I change rooms and I forget where I was going, I'm terrified for an instant that I have alzheimer's." said Shannon Seitz who's mother has alzheimer's.
Shannon Seitz watched her mother fall victim to alzheimer's, now she's worried about losing her mind.
Here are five red flags, first, do you ask the same question over and over again?
"If it's worrying you, if other people are commenting on it, that might be a time to check with your doctor" says Dr. Gary Small, Geriatric Psychiatrist at UCLA.
Do you put things in unusual places?
"If you're forgetting everyday things that you really should remember." says Dr. Small.
Do you struggle remembering the words you want to say?
Warning sign number four, genetics. The National Institutes of Health report you have a 40 to 60 percent increased risk of alzheimer's if your parents have it.
Number five: if you suffer from obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes and high colesterol, you have a higher risk of developing alzheimer's. All of these affect blood supply and reduce oxygenation to the brain.
"Don't overeat. If you're carrying around too much weight, you're at increased risk of high blood pressure and diabetes which are weight related illnesses that can affect your memory". said Dr. Small.
One simple recall technique is look-snap-connect. It means focus, create a mental picture, then connect the pictures together. If you've got trouble with this, you may need to start sharpening your mind, in order to save your mind.
Doctor Small says stress and fatigue are the main causes of temporary memory pauses in adults under 60. It's been proven in mice and humans, the more stress you're under, the less memory cells you have.