In diagnosis of Alzheimer, doctors or medical expert usually reviews your medical history and medication history. They also check out the symptoms and carry out various tests.
In first diagnosis phase, the doctor will evaluate the following;
- Cognitive skills to ascertain whether your thinking and memory is impaired or not
- Check whether you experience some behavioral or personality changes
- Check the extend of the thinking and memory impairment
- Check how much the thinking problems has impacted your daily life
- Evaluate the cause of the symptoms
Once these are done, the doctor may order some additional lab tests, memory tests, or brain-imaging tests to be conducted. The results from these tests will help the doctor in ruling out some other diseases that may have similar symptoms as Alzheimer’s.
Sifting other conditions
The medical experts may order some additional tests that will help rule out some other conditions that exhibit similar signs. A laboratory test to check out thyroid problems or lack of Vitamin b-12 will be carried out. Any depression signs are also evaluated so as to determine whether it is the sole cause of the symptoms. Furthermore, a physical evaluation and check is carried out to look out for other conditions that may be causing the symptoms.
Memory Problem Tests
When assessing memory lapses, the doctor may ask the patient to answer certain questions or even perform some tasks that test their cognitive skills such as abstract thinking, memory, solving problems, and language skills.
- Test of the mental status-this entails the test of the person’s thinking and memory. The results from the test are used in making judgment of the patient’s cognitive failure.
- Neuropsychological testing-this involves the evaluation of the brain conditions and mental health by a neuropsychologist. The tests involve a deeper evaluation of the patient’s memory and thinking abilities. The test results help the doctors to determine whether the patient has dementia or not. It helps to determine what you can still do and what you can no longer do. The tests also help in ruling out depression.
- Interaction with family and friends- the doctor may ask some questions the family members and friends. They will ask about the patient and how their behavior may have changed. This is very significant since a friend or a family member can easily identify and explain how one may have changed in their thinking, behavior, or functional skills.
Brain Imaging Tests
The main purpose of brain imaging tests is to pull out brain scans that will help ascertain the status of the brain cells. Alzheimer’s is usually due to the drastic loss or degeneration of the brain cells and the scans are useful, but not comprehensive in diagnosing the condition. With these scans the doctors are able to rule out some other causes such as stroke, hemorrhage, or brain tumor. It also helps rule out other types of degenerative brain diseases and help ascertain the extent of the degeneration.
The future seems bright with regard to Alzheimer’s since various researches are being carried out on various disease markers and diagnostic tests. These tests cover genes, imaging procedures, and test of certain proteins that will hopefully help in accurately ascertaining the presence of Alzheimer’s and how far it has progressed.