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Alzheimer's diagnosis: How is Alzheimer's diagnosed?



For diagnosis Alzheimer's disease doctors evaluate their signs and symptoms and perform multiple tests.

An accurate diagnosis of Alzheimer's dementia is an important first step to ensuring that you receive proper treatment, care and family education and plans for the future.

Early signs and symptoms of Alzheimer's dementia

Early signs and symptoms of Alzheimer's dementia include:

  • memory disorders, such as difficulty remembering events
  • difficulty concentrating, planning problems or problems-solving
  • Problems in working through the daily tasks at home or at work
  • Confusion with the place or the passing of time
  • Problems of sight or space, eg. Eg misunderstanding distance while driving, losing or missing objects
  • Speech problems such as word-finding problems or reduced vocabulary in spoken and written
  • Using bad judgment in decisions
  • Withdrawal of work or social involvement
  • Mood changes such as depression or other behavioral and personality changes

Alzheimer's disease can affect various aspects of your daily life.

When alerts appear on Alzheimer's disease, it is important that you respond promptly and accurately.

Diagnosing Alzheimer's Disease

To diagnose Alzheimer's dementia, your family doctor, a physician trained in brain disease (neurologist), or a physician trained in the treatment of elderly adults (geriatrics) will review your medical history, medication history, and symptoms Doctor also performs several tests.

During your appointment, your doctor will evaluate:

  • Whether you have memory problems or have (cognitive) thinking skills
  • Whether you show personality or behavior changes
  • The degree of memory impairment, thought disorder, or change [19659022] How your thinking problems affect your ability to function in daily life
  • The cause of your symptoms

Doctors may order additional laboratory tests, brain imaging studies or you forward memory test. These tests can provide physicians with useful information for diagnosis, including the exclusion of other conditions that cause similar symptoms.

Exclusion of other conditions

Doctors perform a physical examination and check for other health problems that cause or contribute to their symptoms, such as: As signs of strokes in the past, Parkinson's disease, depression or other diseases.

Assessing Memory Disorders and Other Symptoms

To assess your symptoms, your doctor may ask you to answer questions or perform tasks related to your cognitive abilities, such as: For example, your memory, abstract thinking, problem solving, parlance, and related abilities.

  • mental status exam. Your doctor may perform mental health tests to check your thinking (cognitive) and memory skills. Doctors use the results of these tests to assess the degree of cognitive impairment.

  • Neuropsychological tests. They can be evaluated by a specialist in brain and mental disorders (neuropsychologist). The evaluation may include extensive tests to assess your cognitive (cognitive) abilities.

    These tests help clinicians determine if you have dementia and if you are capable of performing daily tasks such as driving and managing your finances. They provide so much information about what you can do and what you may have lost. These tests can also assess whether depression may lead to symptoms.

  • Interviews with friends and family. Doctors may ask questions about you and your behavior to your family member or friend.

    It fits your previous level of functioning. Your family member or friend can often explain how your thinking skills (cognitive abilities), functional abilities, and behaviors have changed over time.

This series of clinical assessments, physical examination, and attitudes (age and duration of progressive symptoms) often provide physicians with enough information to diagnose Alzheimer's disease. However, if the diagnosis is not clear, physicians may need to order additional tests.

Laboratory Tests

You may have laboratory tests to rule out other conditions that cause symptoms similar to Alzheimer's dementia, such as thyroid disease or vitamin B-12 deficiency.

Brain imaging

Alzheimer's dementia is based on the progressive loss (degeneration) of brain cells. This degeneration can occur in brain scans in several ways.

These scans alone are not enough to make a diagnosis. Scans are not used to diagnose the disease because there is an overlap in terms of what doctors think is a normal age-related change in the brain and an abnormal change.

However, brain imaging may help:

  • Other causes, such as bleeding, are ruled out, brain tumors or strokes
  • Distinguish different types of degenerative brain diseases
  • Set a baseline on the degree of degeneration.

The most commonly used brain imaging technologies are:

  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) An MRI uses strong radio waves and magnets to obtain a detailed view of your brain.

  • Computerized Tomography (CT). A CT scan uses X-rays to obtain cross-sectional images of your brain.

  • Positron emission tomography (PET). A PET scan uses a radioactive substance known as a tracer to detect substances in the body. There are several types of PET scans. The most widely used PET scan is a fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) PET scan that can identify brain regions with decreased glucose metabolism. The pattern of metabolism change can distinguish between different types of degenerative brain diseases.

    Recently, PET scans have been developed that detect amyloid clusters (plaques) associated with Alzheimer's dementia. Typically, however, this type of PET scan is used in research.

Future of Diagnosis

Researchers are working on new diagnostic tools that will enable doctors to diagnose Alzheimer's dementia earlier in the course of the disease, when the symptoms are very mild or before symptoms even occur. One such tool is a PET scan that can detect tau, the other known abnormal protein in Alzheimer's dementia.

Scientists study a range of disease markers and diagnostic tests, such as genes, disease-related proteins, and imaging techniques Indicate accurately and reliably whether you have Alzheimer's disease and how far the disease has progressed. Further investigation of these tests is required.

Advantage of Early Diagnosis

The reluctance to go to the doctor if you or a family member has memory problems is understandable. Some people hide their symptoms or their family members. This is easy to understand because Alzheimer's dementia is associated with loss such as loss of independence, loss of driving rights and loss of self. Many people may wonder if there is a point in the diagnosis if there is no cure for the disease.

It is true that physicians can not offer cure for Alzheimer's disease or related illness. But early diagnosis can be beneficial. Knowing what you can do is as important as knowing what you can not do. If a person has another treatable condition that results in cognitive impairment or somehow complicates the impairment, physicians may start treatment.

For people with Alzheimer's disease, doctors can offer medical and non-drug interventions that can alleviate the disease. Doctors often prescribe medications that can slow down memory loss and other cognitive abilities. You may also be able to participate in clinical trials.

In addition, physicians can educate you and your caregivers on strategies to improve your living environment, set routines, plan activities, and control changes in skills to minimize the impact of the disease on your everyday life.

It is important that early diagnosis helps you, your family, and your caregiver to plan the future. They have the opportunity to make informed decisions regarding a range of topics, such as:

  • Appropriate municipal services and resources
  • Options for home and home care
  • Plans for the treatment of financial problems [19659067] Expectations For Future Care and Medical Advice

When a doctor tells you and your family about an Alzheimer's diagnosis, it will help you understand Alzheimer's disease, answer questions, and explain what to expect. Doctors will explain what capacity is maintained and how to limit future disability, and try to keep you as healthy and safe as possible while minimizing your daily activities.

Updated: 2016-10-13

Release date: 2002-12-02


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