Exams and Tests
Alzheimer's disease is diagnosed after other
conditions are ruled out. Your doctor will use a variety of tests to do this.
is helpful to have a family member or someone in close contact with the person
present at the appointment. A family member may be able to provide the best
information about how a person's day-to-day functioning, memory, and
personality have changed.
The doctor will use a medical history and physical exam to help find out if a physical problem may be causing the person's
symptoms. Sometimes another problem can cause the same symptoms as Alzheimer's.
The person will also have a functional status exam and a
mental health assessment. During these exams, he or she will be asked to perform simple tasks.
Lab tests may be done to rule out other possible causes of a person's
symptoms, such as levels of certain minerals or chemicals in the blood, liver disease, abnormal thyroid levels, or nutritional
problems, such as folate or vitamin B12 deficiencies. Treatment for these
conditions may slow or reverse mental decline.
Blood tests that may be done include:
Imaging and other tests
Other tests include:
In some cases, examining the brain after death is done if the family wants to confirm
that the person had Alzheimer's disease.
Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Myron F. Weiner, MD - Psychiatry, Neurology
October 29, 2012
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