SCAMS AS SCREENING
Many dementia patients and their families wish they’d had more of a heads-up that trouble was coming. Often the trouble isn’t impaired memory, but impaired judgment. How do you screen for that?
A study in Annals of Internal Medicine has an answer: phone scams. With a few simple questions, the researchers said, a doctor can gauge a patient’s susceptibility to being rooked. The greater the gullibility, the greater the likelihood that something serious is going on with cognition.
This understanding could stem financial fraud among oldsters who can communicate just fine but who are losing the ability to distinguish honesty from dishonesty.
Separately, a Boston University team reported promising results using electrical stimulation, delivered through a skullcap, to synchronize brain impulses, improving age-related memory loss. Turning the study into a workable treatment will take years, they cautioned.