Additional Diagnosis Info
Diagnosis of Alzheimers Disease and Dementia
While an official diagnosis of Alzheimers disease can only be done through an autopsy, in order to get a probable Alzheimers diagnosis and to get a dementia diagnosis you will need to visit a medical professional. With a complete medical assessment, those who are concerned about possible cognitive issues related to Alzheimers disease can get the proper diagnosis they are looking for. If you or a loved one is concerned about memory loss or other symptoms that you fear may be from Alzheimers disease or dementia, visit a health care provider right away. The sooner you are able to get a diagnosis the better off you will be.
The Importance of Diagnosis
Although a diagnosis of Alzheimers disease is technically only a probably diagnosis, it is still important to make sure that you are turning to a doctor as soon as you start to notice symptoms in a loved one. The earlier the diagnosis the better off your loved one will be. Those who are able to diagnose their condition early on will enjoy benefits such as:
- A better reaction to treatment
- More time to plan for the future
- More opportunities for participating in clinical trials and drug trials
- A better opportunity to participate in decisions about care, financial and legal matters and more
- Better care and support to help manage the disease
How to Get a Diagnosis
While there is no single test that will give you a definitive diagnosis of Alzheimers, there are a series of tests that can be performed to help show that a person likely has Alzheimers disease or that they are suffering from dementia. Typically physicians are able to diagnose with around 90% accuracy; and an early diagnosis can help make treatment and planning much easier. Here are the different steps taken to diagnose an individual with Alzheimers disease.
- A complete evaluation of a persons medical history.
- Tests performed on an individuals mental status
- Physical and neurological examinations done on the patient to determine cognitive function and memory
- Blood work, brain imaging and lab tests done to rule out other medical conditions
Keep in mind that seeing just a few symptoms of dementia such as memory loss does not always indicate that the individual has Alzheimers disease. There can be other issues causing these symptoms and many times, it is only when symptoms worsen with time that you will really know that you are dealing with a case of dementia.
In order to get the insight you are looking for, you will need to visit a doctor that you feel comfortable with. Many times your primary health care provider will be able to provide you with the tests that you need to get the insight you are looking for and they will be able to oversee the entire diagnostic process. With some special cases, you or your loved one may be referred to a specialist such as a neurologist, psychiatrist or geriatric physician for diagnosis or treatment.