What to expect when going for a diagnosis ;
concerned about memory loss or poor cognition? Is dementia or just a condition that is easy to cure? Getting an early diagnosis helps in planning and get better treatment. Here’s what to ask for and expect when going for a diagnosis.
Doctors first if the individual has an underlying treatable condition, as
- abnormal thyroid function
- drug-induced encephalopathy
- normal pressure hydrocephalus
- Vitamin B12deficiency.
Early diagnosis is important because some of the causes of the symptoms can be treated. . In many cases, the specific type of dementia a person has can not be confirmed until after the person has died and the brain was examined
An evaluation usually includes:
- patient history. Typical questions about medical and family history of a person could be to ask about whether dementia in the family, how and when the symptoms began, and if the person is taking certain medications that can cause or exacerbate symptoms .
- Physical exam. Measuring blood pressure and other vital signs can help doctors detect conditions that may cause or result in dementia. Such conditions may be treatable.
- neurological assessments. Assessment of balance, sensory function, reflexes, vision, eye movements and other functions helps identify signs of conditions that can affect diagnosis or can be treated with medication. Doctors can also use an electroencephalogram, a study that records patterns of electrical activity in the brain, to check for abnormal brain electrical activity.
The following procedures can also be used in the diagnosis of dementia: 19459008
  [19459020 brain scans. These tests can identify strokes, tumors and other problems that can cause dementia. Ultrasounds are also identified changes in the structure and function of the brain. The most common CT scans are (CT) Scan and MRI (RM) . CT scans use X-rays to produce images of the brain and other organs. MRI uses a computer, magnetic fields and radio waves to produce detailed images of body structures, including tissues, organs, bones and nerves.
The last scan is called a F18 exploration . It’s strength is that it helps doctors to “see” the amyloid plaque connected to Alzheimer’s disease. If a person has dementia but not the plate, which means they have Alzheimer’s disease, but rather a different type of dementia. Even if they have Alzheimer’s disease, knowing the amount of plaque in the brain may help doctors provide better treatment. Approximately $ 2.700, the exploration is new and expensive, but it is growing in popularity.
Other types of analysis will doctors watch the brain as it works. Two of these tests are positron emission-computed unique, photon that can be used to measure blood flow to the brain, and positron emission tomography (PET) , which uses radioactive isotopes provide images of brain activity. These scans are used to look for patterns of altered brain activity that are common in dementia. The researchers also used PET imaging with compounds that bind to beta-amyloid to detect levels of the protein, a hallmark of AD, in the living brain.
- Cognitive and neuropsychological tests. These tests measure memory, language skills, math skills and other skills related to mental functioning. For example, people with Alzheimer’s disease often show impairment in problem solving, memory and the ability to perform automated tasks once.
- Laboratory tests. Many tests help rule out other conditions. They include measuring levels of sodium and other electrolytes in the blood, complete blood count, a test of blood sugar, urinalysis, verification of the levels of vitamin B12, cerebrospinal fluid analysis, drug testing and alcohol, and an analysis of thyroid function.
- presymptomatic testing. Some dementias are associated with a genetic defect known. In these cases, a genetic test could help people know if they are at risk for dementia. People should talk to family members, your primary health professional, and a genetic counselor before testing.
- psychiatric evaluation. This will help determine if depression or another mental health condition is causing or contributing to the symptoms of a person.
This article was originally published on alzheimersweekly, Read the original article here
Posted in: Alzheimer's & Dementia, Diagnosis, Understanding Dementia