How is Dementia Diagnosed? part 4

Diagnosing elder dementia is not simple, nor easy. Professional expertise is required.

Here are some of the methods doctors use to help diagnose dementia:

— Cognitive and neuropsychological tests assess language and math skills, memory, problem-solving and other types of mental functioning.

— Blood tests are relatively new when it comes to diagnosing dementia and, for the moment, are limited to clinical settings. Doctors can order tests to measure levels of beta-amyloid and p-tau217, hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease.

— Brain scans such as MRI or PET imaging can spot changes in brain structure and function. These tests also can identify strokes, tumors and other problems that can cause dementia.

— Psychiatric evaluation can determine whether a mental health condition is causing or affecting the symptoms.

— Genetic tests may be helpful if someone is showing symptoms before age 60. The early-onset form of Alzheimer’s is strongly linked to a person’s genes, according to the Mayo Clinic. Talk with a genetic counselor before and after getting tested.​ ​​​​​

JD Miller

About JD Miller

John D. Miller is the founder/owner of Home Care Partners, LLC, a Massachusetts business providing private duty, personalized in-home assistance and companion care services to those needing help in daily activities and household functions. Phone: (781) 378-2164 Email: [email protected] Website:

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