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Diagnosis of Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia

Alzheimer's is diagnosed through a complete medical assessment. If you or a loved one have concerns about memory loss or other symptoms of Alzheimer's or dementia, it is important to be evaluated by a physician.

Steps to diagnosis

There is no single test that can show whether a person has Alzheimer's. While physicians can almost always determine if a person has dementia, it may be difficult to determine the exact cause. Diagnosing Alzheimer's requires careful medical evaluation, including:
  • A thorough medical history

  • Mental status testing

  • A physical and neurological exam

  • Tests (such as blood tests and brain imaging) to rule out other causes of dementia-like symptoms
Having trouble with memory does not mean you have Alzheimer's. Many health issues can cause problems with memory and thinking. When dementia-like symptoms are caused by treatable conditions — such as depression, drug interactions, thyroid problems, excess use of alcohol or certain vitamin deficiencies — they may be reversed.

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