Not just forgetfulness: US researchers have discovered another early symptom of Alzheimer’s disease that should put relatives and friends on the alert when it appears.
Forgetfulness, mood swings, sleep disturbances or problems concentrating are the first signs of Alzheimer’s disease. However, the disease is usually very advanced by that time. Scientists at the Keck School of Medicine (University of California) have now revealed another early symptom of Alzheimer’s disease: the desire to donate money to strangers. This may also explain why older adults are more vulnerable to scams.
Older people are more vulnerable to fraud and exploitation
Grandson and Associates Hoax: Scammers deliberately target elderly people. Because they know exactly that they question their machinations less critically. And despite media enlightenment, they’ve achieved an alarming amount of success with their shredding tactics. what is the reason? The researchers wanted to get to the heart of this very question. “Our goal is to understand why some older adults may be more vulnerable to financial exploitation than others,” study leader Professor Duke Hahn said in a university statement.1 Under laboratory conditions, he and his team had elderly men and women donate money to strangers. The surprising and highly insightful findings were recently published in the “Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.”2
Disbursement of money in laboratory conditions
In their experiment, the scientists recruited 67 participants (average age 69), all of whom had no obvious signs or known early symptoms of dementia or Alzheimer’s. In the lab, everyone was told that they would be assigned to an unknown person. Then the test participants received ten US dollars each. Now they were supposed to split the money between themselves and the unknown player in increments of $1 as they liked. Participants also completed a series of neuropsychological tests, including story and word recall tasks.
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Those who donate money willingly do worse on cognitive tests
The study found that participants who donated more money performed significantly worse on neuropsychological tests (which are known to indicate early Alzheimer’s disease). “Difficulty handling money It has long been suspected of being one of the first signs of Alzheimer’s disease, and this finding as a new early symptom supports this idea,” continues Han. He and his team see a direct link between a possible early stage of the disease and a willingness to donate money for no specific reason.
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Important: There are also cash gifts that come from the heart
Generosity is a valuable trait. As the lead researcher points out: “The last thing we want is for people to think that financial altruism among seniors is bad. It can certainly be a conscious and positive use of a person’s money.” Instead, the point is that sudden altruistic behavior on the part of friends or relatives Older adults can be a red flag for those close to them. Those who care don’t just protect loved ones from financial exploitation. As an important new early symptom, it may also help researchers distinguish between what constitutes healthy giving behavior and what may indicate possible Alzheimer’s disease.