How is dementia diagnosed?

Clinically. Usually a clinical diagnosis, no blood work and no imaging test.
History and testing. Dementia by definition impairs a number of different brain areas. A diagnosis is made by taking a history of what problems you are having, ruling out correctable alterantive causes of the problems and testing specific brain functions. Usually head imaging and laboratory tests are helpful in excluding other illnesses.
H & P & Tests. The first step is obtaining a good history and physical. Next is ruling out reversible causes of mental decline such as toxicity, sepsis, or hormone problems. In some cases imaging is necessary, especially if cognitive function changes rapidly. At the very least, i like to entertain the possibility of depression or hypothyroidism before arriving at a diagnosis of dementia.

Related Questions

How's multi-infarct dementia diagnosed?

All illness are . Diagnosed on the basis of history and physical exam, including required testing. Read more...

How do you diagnose dementia in down syndrome?

See below. Look for any change of personality, memory loss and loss of functional activity such as bathing, dressing. The new onset of dementia varies by age. For down's syndrome, it is best diagnose by looking at the clinical symptoms - behaviorally, functionally and cognitively - almost same way as someone diagnosis for alzheimer's disease. Read more...
Similar to Alzheimer. Any deviations from the baseline functioning -- changes in memory, affect, adl, etc. Are usually investigated. The diagnosis of dementia in down syndrome is somewhat similar to the diagnosis of alzheimer's disease, however, the initial disabilities of down syndrome should be taken into account. Read more...

How is alzheimer's and dementia diagnosed?

Mostly Q&A. While there may be some lab work in some cases, mostly interviews & psycho-neurological testing with the person along with interviews with caretakers about behavior and history are used. Read more...
Alzheimer, Dementia. Mental status examination including memory impairment, disorientation to time , place, and person, decline in intellectual functioning and impairment of attention and concentration helps in diagnosis of alzheimer, and dementia. At times blood tests and ct scan of brain help in the diagnosis. Read more...

How does a doc diagnose dementia?

History. The first thing to do is to take a careful history of the patient and family. What symptoms does the patient have? Is there a history of dementia, stroke or heart disease? Rating scales like a mini mental status exam or moca (montreal cognitive assessment) are useful. Labs are checked like b12, folate (folic acid) or RPR (syphilis). Sometimes a head scan is helpful. Read more...
History and exam. The key to all diagnosis is accurate history to generate a list of possible explanations for symptoms then testing and possibly treatment. For dementia, one focusses on memory, use of and understanding language, functional decline, problems with reasoning and other areas of brain functioning. Read more...

In excruciating pain haven't slept all for 7mos had early menopause, brain/body burning and dementia how is 1 diagnosed with sporadic fatal insomnia?

Sorry you have been. Waiting for an answer and having so much difficulty sleeping and dealing with pain. Sleep deprivation can lead to serious psychological and physical issues. I would encourage you to contact a psychologist who practices clinical hypnosis. It can be used for insomnia and for pain management. It can help regardless of what the diagnosis turns out to be. In the meantime it will help you get some sleep. Read more...
SFI. Sporadic fatal insomnia is a rare prion disease related to familial fatal insomnia. It involves a characteristic change in sleep pattern, autonomic hyperactivation, and motor abnormalities. Polysomnography (sleep study), genetic analysis, and a pet scan may aid in diagnosis. If you are concerned, you should see a neurologist who specializes in degenerative disorders. Read more...