Dementia & Alzheimer’s Guide

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Dementia Diagnosis

Dementia & Alzheimer’s

Dementia is a mental disorder often found in elder people aged over 65 years. The major symptoms of dementia include lapses of memory, difficulty in language, difficulty in doing things like bathing and picking up things, etc. In the case of dementia it is necessary to detect the disease early so that treatment can be started immediately.

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Diagnosis of dementia can be done with the help of medical history, some laboratory tests and physical examinations. Medical history includes obtaining medical information about the patient regarding the beginning and the gradual progression of symptoms and also finding out if any of the members of the family have in the past suffered from the disease.

The doctors may also look for signs in the patient like inability to use appropriate words to express things, unable to do common things like bathing and picking up things, unable to recognize objects and unable to think abstractly.

1. Delirium

The physician must be able to recognize the difference between dementia and delirium. Delirium is a condition where the patient suffers from disorganized thinking and also the inability to pay attention to certain things. Delirium maybe caused due to certain seizures, mood swings, drug and alcohol abuse, etc. Symptoms of delirium include reduced level of consciousness and memory lapses.

2. Pseudodementia

Some people maybe suffering from Pseudodementia. Pseudodementia is a type of depression that is generally suffered by elder people. Pseudodementia is also characterized by slow movements of the arms and legs and also may lead to poor eyesight.

3. Neuropsychological tests

Doctors may introduce these types of tests to the patients to study their language skills and their problem solving skills. These tests also help the doctors in testing the patient’s perception skills.

4. Lab Tests

Doctors may conduct laboratory tests on the patients to identify if the patient is indeed suffering from dementia and also the tests are continued to find out the exact cause of dementia.

5. Blood Tests

Blood tests are conducted by doctors to find out if there are any infectious or toxic conditions in the patients. The results also help the doctors to rule out Alzheimer’s disease and also help the doctors in devising an effective treatment plan.

6. Imaging Tests

Imaging tests like MRI and CT scan will also be conducted by doctors to detect any structural or physical changes in the brain caused be a variety of factors like blood clots, tumors and head injury.

7. Electroencephalography

Electroencephalography popularly known as EEG is used to check the brain wave activity of the patient. An EEG can help to sort out the difference between a patient suffering from depression whose brain waves are normal from a patient with some degenerative neurological disease.

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