How is Alzheimer's disease diagnosed?

Diagnosis of Alzhemier's disease. There is no single test for Alzhemier’s disease and diagnosis depends in part on excluding other potential causes of dementia. These include vascular dementia (often known as multi-infarct dementia or MID), dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), fronto-temporal dementia (including Picks disease), Parkinsons disease, and alcohol-related dementia (Koraskoffs syndrome).

In a person with suspected of having Alzhemier’s, the doctor will try to establish some of the symptoms such as memory loss and verbal impairment. Physical examination and blood and urine tests may be carried out to help exclude other causes of dementia. If the doctor is unable to make a diagnosis, a referral will usually be made to a specialist (a neurologist, a care of the elderly physician or a psychiatrist) for more specialist tests.

These tests may include the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE). This is a series of questions and tests looking at memory, language and mathematical skills. Other investigations may include a brain scan, typically magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Some people may also be referred to a memory clinic specialising in mental state assessments.
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Related Questions

Alzheimers disease, dementia, poor memory, mci -- what causes do they have in common?

Memory deficits. There is a chemical in the brain called acetylcholine which is deficient with aging, and that causes deficits in cognitive functions. Read more...
Not known. Alzheimer's disease is only one cause of dementia and there are other causes of memory problem. Some are reversible (e.g., vitamin B12 deficiency) so it is important to exclude them by medical examination. Mci may be a mild form of alzheimer's disease. Read more...