Perfect score makes up for lost notebooks | VailDaily.com
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Perfect score makes up for lost notebooks

Scott N. Miller

EDWARDS – I got a perfect score on my memory test Tuesday, which should be no big deal.Except I’d wandered off without a notebook a couple of times in the past 24 hours, and had nearly forgotten to go the memory test. Not exactly space cadet stuff, but still…A lot of middle-agers wonder if they’re starting to slip. After all, it’s a little harder to get moving in the mornings than it was in our 20s, and some of us had pretty wild youths. It’s only natural to wonder if one of those long-ago all-nighters that included a stop for microwave burritos and Mountain Dew at a 7-Eleven 90 miles from home might have been one too many.Then there’s genetics.Like Patti, a woman interviewed in the accompanying story, Alzheimer’s Disease runs in my family. I’ve lost grandparents and a fairly close relative to the disease, so it’s definitely contaminating the Miller gene pool.Unlike Patti, I wasn’t noticeably nervous when caseworker Pat Constantine started giving me the first of three standard tests for dementia. Things got better when as the questions started coming?• What’s the exact date, today?• Who’s the president of the United States?• Who was president right before that?There were a lot of those. Constantine asked me to repeat three words – I believe they were “tree,” “ball,” and “flower” – then repeat them in the order she’d given them to me.I was asked to write a simple sentence, a task some Web commenters believe is beyond most of us here at the paper. Constantine then gave me sheet of paper with a circle printed on it. She asked me to make a clock, complete with numbers, then put the hands to indicate 11:10. Neatness didn’t count, which was good.After perhaps 10 minutes, Constantine gave me my score: Perfect. I’d just taken the test, so the result wasn’t a real surprise. Still, it’s nice to know that on a very basic level, the appropriate number of marbles are still rattling around in my head.So how come I recently lost a cell phone that was in pants I was wearing?”It can be a lot of things,” Constantine said. “We’re always busy.”With the rush-rush and stress of modern life, the surprise is probably that we don’t lose track of more than we do.Still, the next time I forget to turn on the dryer, there’s one less excuse available. But that’s fine.Staff Writer Scott N. Miller can be reached at 748-2930, or smiller@vaildaily.com.Vail Daily, Vail Colorado CO


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