Dr. Oz's Five Warning Signs for Alzheimer's

There is hardly anyone in this country who does not know someone living with Alzheimer's disease.

Some 5.3 million Americans have Alzheimer's, and there is a new diagnosis every 70 seconds, according to the Alzheimer's Association.

It is a disease that steals your memory, your identity and your ability to function independently, said Dr. Mehmet Oz, host of "The Dr. Oz Show.

"The instance of Alzheimer's will triple in our lifetime," Oz said.

He said that while people may think dementia and Alzheimer's are the same, dementia is actually a symptom of Alzheimer's.

Oz stopped by "Good Morning America" to explain how you can spot Alzheimer's warning signs in your loved ones. He also gave the audience a memory test. How did you do? These are the words showed on screen at the beginning of the segment:

House
Professor
Pasta
Teddy Bear
Palm Tree
Nun
Cigar
Beach

Warning Sign: Memory Loss That Disrupts Your Life

Oz said one warning sign is memory loss that disrupts the person's life. For instance, asking the same question over and over again or forgetting dates and events.

"It's a more profound level of memory loss," Oz said.

5 Warning Signs of Alzheimer's

Warning Sign: Puts Things in Unusual Places and Can't Retrace Steps

While many people misplace their glasses, Oz said it is more worrisome if they find those glasses in an unusual location such as the refrigerator or when they can't go back over their steps to find them.

Oz said people could also accuse others of stealing from them when they can't find something.

VIDEO: Dr. Mehmet Oz explains how you can spot the disease in love ones.
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For More Information Click Here to Visit the ABC News On Call Alzheimer's Center

Warning Sign: Struggles With Vocabulary

Another warning sign is when memory loss begins to affect speech and people forget words or call things by the wrong name, Oz said.

"You search for words," Oz said. "you can't remember the words you want to say."

Perhaps he or she began referring to a cell phone as a "hand phone" or a watch as a "hand clock."

Warning Sign: Genetics Are a Factor

Genetics are a factor in early-onset Alzheimer's, Oz said. He explained that it occurs in approximately 10 percent of Alzheimer's patients developing between the ages of 30 and 60

. Warning Sign: High Blood Pressure, Diabetes, High Cholesterol
If you suffer from obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol, then you have a higher risk of developing Alzheimer's, Oz said.

He added that this is probably because these ailments affect blood supply and therefore reduce oxygenation to the brain.

How to Help Prevent Alzheimer's

Physical exercise, mental exercise, such as crossword puzzles, and a healthy diet can help prevent Alzheimer's disease, Oz said.

Oz recommended getting plenty of antioxidants from foods such as blueberries and leafy vegetables.

Omega-3 fish oil, found in salmon, is also effective, Oz said. He pointed to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association that found people with high levels of omega-3 fatty acids in their bloodstreams had longer protective caps on their DNA, which is a sign of slower aging.

Curcumin, a spice that acts as an anti-inflammatory and is found in curry and certain mustards, is recommended to help ward off Alzheimer's symptoms, Oz said. He suggested adding it to your food twice a week.

Oz also suggested taking supplements such as vitamins E, B6 and B12, folic acid and aspirin.

Click here for more information on "The Dr. Oz Show."

For more information click here to visit the ABC News' On Call Alzheimer's Center.

Click here to return to the "Good Morning America" Web site.

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