Medical Tests for Alzheimers
Tests of Alzheimers Disease and Dementia
An official diagnosis of Alzheimers disease can only be done through an autopsy; however, there are many people who will look for a probable diagnosis in order to discover if they likely have Alzheimers disease. In order to get a probable Alzheimers diagnosis you will need to visit a medical professional to have a variety of tests done. With the right tests, those who are concerned about possible cognitive issues related to Alzheimers disease can get the proper diagnosis they are looking for and more insight on what is really going on. Keep in mind there is no single test that proves a person has Alzheimers disease; a variety of tests need to be made in order for a complete assessment and diagnosis to be given.
When you meet with a medical professional for tests, your health care provider will review your medical history and perform a number of tests that will give you or your loved one a better view of your loved ones current cognitive issues. This process will begin with a complete medical history where you give information on your loved ones past medical history while you provide insight on your past illnesses, conditions. It is usually in the best interest of your loved one if you go with them to their medical visits so that you can make sure your loved ones are answering all of their questions effectively and that their cognitive challenges arent getting in the way of their answers and impacting the results of these tests.
When these tests are being performed, the health care provider will ask about the following topics:
- Diet, nutrition, and alcohol use
- Past and current medication uses (you will want to make sure you are bringing all of the current medication containers for your loved ones)
- Past symptoms that you have noticed
- Insight on when symptoms first began
- How often the warning signs of Alzheimers are appearing and whether or not the symptoms have gotten worse.
Your loved one will also have medical tests done and their blood pressure, temperature and pulse checked. The physician will also listen to their heart and lungs and assess their overall health while they collect blood or urine samples for additional testing. These tests can help determine if Alzheimers is at the heart of these problems or if there are any additional health issues that are causing cognitive difficulties.
A number of neurological tests may also be performed during your visit. Typically the physician will evaluate the individual for other brain disorders aside from Alzheimers disease. Typically physicians will look for signs of strokes, Parkinson's, tumors, and other illnesses so that they can rule out dementia and Alzheimers disease as the primary source for cognitive challenges. Typically the physician will test for reflexes, coordination, eye movement, speech, sensations, strength and muscle tone. Brain imaging scans may also be conducted at this time.
You may find that your loved ones health care provider may also do genetic testing as many have found that certain genes put people at greater risk for developing Alzheimers disease.