It is not always possible to diagnose Alzheimer’s right at the start, and sometimes, it takes a combination of different types of tests and assessments to make the right diagnosis. The doctors will adopt a host of methods to reach the right conclusion.
Read on to know some of the ways the medical team will work on to assess whether or not a person is actually suffering from Alzheimer’s.
What To Expect
At the Alzheimer’s diagnosis stage, the doctor will:
- Check if the person is suffering from any issues with memory or thinking capabilities, however small.
- Look for outwardly symptoms in terms of mood.
- Check for any other causes that could lead to the symptoms.
1. Check Medical History
The doctor will discuss medical history in detail, for the patient who is being diagnosed as well as the person’s family history. This will help to determine whether or not the person is at risk of Alzheimer’s or any form of depression and make it easier for the right tests to be performed.
2. Examine Overall Health
The doctor will also do an assessment of the person’s overall health to see if the symptoms are being caused due to any other health issue, instead of Alzheimer’s.
3. Conduct Tests On Memory And Cognitive Skills
The doctor and the medical team will conduct a host of tests to check about memory and various cognitive skills. The aim of these tests will be to test the thinking capabilities of the person, also known as cognitive abilities, as well as memory skills to see if there are any lapses. There are various tests that the doctors will use to test memory and cognitive skills at different levels.
4. Perform Brain Scans
A team of neuro-specialists will conduct various tests to check the patient’s mental status and health to look for any signs of degeneration. There are various tests that are used to check for the same, that will help the doctors to assess whether or not the person has dementia or if there is any problem with other areas that affect motor skills and such. The tests will help the doctors to determine the extent of the damage done and the way it may progress. In some cases, it can also help to reveal if the person is actually suffering from depression instead of it being Alzheimer’s.
5. Observe Any Personal Or Behavioral Changes
The medical team will not only observe the patient to look for any changes in personal or behavioral symptoms, but may also speak to family members and friends to understand any changes they may have noticed. The doctors will look for symptoms that may not have been there before, but are now becoming more common, such as the patient’s inability to remember certain things or names, slowing down while walking or speaking, being irritable and so on.
Conducting the various tests along with doing a physical examination and speaking to family can help the doctors piece together enough information to understand if the person is truly suffering from Alzheimer’s.