- What is Alzheimer's disease?
- What is the cause of Alzheimer’s?
- What are the symptoms of Alzheimer’s?
- How is Alzheimer’s diagnosed?
- How is Alzheimer’s treated?
- What are the risk factors associated with Alzheimer’s?
- The seven stages of Alzheimer’s and how to deal with them
- Alzheimer's - Some further questions you may have …
How is Alzheimer’s diagnosed?
There is no specific way to diagnose the disease, typically, a series of tests are conducted by a doctor in order to make a judgement about the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s. Some of the tests may include:
- Memory tests, problem solving, counting and language.
- Testing the blood and urine so as to rule other conditions out.
- CT (computerised tomography) scan, MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) or PET (positron emission tomography) scans – these help to rule out possible conditions such as a stroke, fluid build-up in the brain or a tumour. They may also be able to clarify the type of dementia the patient has. In early stages of Alzheimer’s, a brain scan (PET) may also be able to show the shrinking in the hippocampus and brain tissue surrounding it.
- Neuropsychological testing is conducted, one such test is the SAGE memory test, this can be done at home. This stands for Self-Administered Geocognitive Examination. It is a 15-minute written exam detecting memory loss in four out of five people who take this test, should they suffer from it.
- Questioning the patient and loved ones regarding behavioural changes, ability to complete everyday tasks and medical history.