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Saturday, June 9, 2012

Alzheimer's Diagnosis Guideline to be included in the Carepath.

From Alzheimer's Info blog for Caregivers

"Talking to most caregivers, I realise that doctors are not providing a complete check up before handing out a diagnosis of dementia. 

As per the following would be required to arrive at a complete diagnosis."

1. Patient history - to compare normal aging and dementia related symptoms the caregiver is the best person to provide this information;

2. Physical examination – to rule out other diseases/disorders that can overlap or medication that may be causing dementia like symptoms;

3. Neurological evaluations – to look at balance, reflexes, sensory functions;

4. Laboratory tests – blood tests, urine analysis, toxicology tests etc to rule out treatable causes of the dementia symptoms;

5. Cognitive and neuropsychological tests – language skills, problem solving ability, other abilities required to perform tasks of daily living. A Mini-Mental State Exam (MMSE) assesses cognitive skills in persons suspected with dementia; 

6. Brain scans like CT and MRI can confirm the causes of the dementia symptoms and whether they are treatable;

7. Psychiatric evaluation – to determine if the person is suffering from depression or other psychiatric disorder that also has dementia like symptoms."


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