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How Dementia is Diagnosed

Dementia is an umbrella term that covers a wide range of medical conditions caused by abnormal brain changes.  These changes cause a decline in cognitive abilities that impair daily activities and affect behavior. Since there is no one way to definitively diagnose Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, the process can be complicated.

 

A few common approaches to memory loss diagnosis are:

  • Examining medical history

Past and current medical conditions, medications and family history are discussed to try to identify medical issues that can cause symptoms of dementia. Be prepared to answer questions about psychiatric history, as well as cognitive and behavioral changes.

  • Physical exam

This is similar to a routine physical, but with an extensive review of medications and a collection of blood and urine samples. Family members might also be asked to answer questions about changes in your behavior or a decline in abilities.

  • Neurological exam

Reflexes, muscle strength, speech, coordination and sensation are tested to rule out other conditions that impair memory, like a stroke, Parkinson’s disease, or brain tumors.

  • Mental cognitive tests

Tests are given to evaluate function, judgement, attention and language.

  • Brain imaging

Magnetic resonance imagining (MRI) and computed tomography (CT) are used to rule out tumors, stroke, severe head trauma, and fluid in the brain—all which cause symptoms similar to Alzheimer’s, but are treated differently.

Watch the following video to get a more detailed look at dementia diagnosis.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LieVEfI4luw&feature=emb_logo

Believe it or not, there are advantages to early detection. The earlier the diagnosis, the more options one has to manage their symptoms and possibly benefit from treatments and/or clinical drug trials. An early diagnosis also allows an individual more time to plan for their future—they can actively participate in decisions about care, financial and legal matters, and explore various assisted living options.

Avalon Memory Care welcomes inquiries from individuals diagnosed with dementia who would like to begin planning for their long-term assisted living needs in Houston, Arlington and Dallas. Call (972) 713-1383 to request a tour of our beautiful, home-like memory care locations.

 

Sites Consulted:

(www.alz.org)

(https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/dementia/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20352019)

By |2021-03-05T08:52:41-06:00March 5th, 2021|Categories: Alzheimer's, Avalon Memory Care, Dementia, Memory Care, Uncategorized|0 Comments

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