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How Is Alzheimer’s Disease Diagnosed?
If problems with memory and thinking have you worried about Alzheimer’s disease, it’s time to see your doctor. Don’t delay—early diagnosis means a better chance to benefit from treatment.
To find out whether you have Alzheimer’s disease, your primary care doctor may evaluate you, or he or she may refer you to a doctor who specializes in the diagnosis of the condition. There is no one test for Alzheimer’s disease. Instead, your doctor may conduct a thorough exam, perform additional tests to check your brain and mental function, or perhaps even speak with a family member or friend about your symptoms. Here’s an overview of what might happen at your doctor visit.
Mental Function Tests
Finally, people who are evaluated for Alzheimer’s disease often have magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computed tomography (CT) scans of their brains. Your doctor may recommend these scans to check for other brain problems that could be causing your symptoms, such as stroke or a tumor.
“About Alzheimer’s disease: diagnosis.” National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health, www.nia.nih.gov/alzheimers/topics/diagnosis.
“Diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.” Alzheimer’s Association, www.alz.org/alzheimers_disease_diagnosis.asp.
“Tests for Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.” Alzheimer’s Association, www.alz.org/alzheimers_disease_steps_to_diagnosis.asp.