Diagnosing Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s disease is a form of dementia that affects the areas of the brain that control judgment, behavior, and memory. Alzheimer’s can manifest with a long list of symptoms and, as a result, be difficult to diagnose. There is no one test to pinpoint the illness. In fact, diagnosis can only be confirmed after an elderly individual has passed, but differential diagnosis, or a diagnosis made by ruling out other potential health conditions, can be used to determine if a senior has Alzheimer’s disease.
Charlene, a senior care provider in Lexington, South Carolina, has spent a great deal of time assisting elderly individuals and their families in their mission to determine if dementia is caused by Alzheimer’s disease. The diagnostic process can be stressful and frustrating, as it requires many tests and can take time to complete. Doctors must look at several different aspects of a senior’s health to determine if Alzheimer’s disease is a possibility. Some of these aspects include physical and neurological examinations, medical history, mental status tests, and other tests, including brain imaging and blood analysis, to rule out any other conditions.
Differential diagnosis is important in determining if Alzheimer’s is the condition doctors will treat. As such, physicians will test for other illnesses, such as depression, vitamin deficiencies, and thyroid disease, to determine whether or not they are causing the symptoms that a senior is experiencing. If all of these conditions are ruled out, then Alzheimer’s disease may be listed as the official diagnosis.
Charlene understands that, while primary care doctors are certainly capable of diagnosing Alzheimer’s, they may refer patients to specialists if their case calls for it. Neurologists, psychiatrists, and psychologists can all contribute to the proper diagnosis of this condition.
Alzheimer’s disease is a difficult illness to detect, as today’s doctors do not have the ability to simply test for the condition. The diagnostic process can be hard on seniors and their families; however, it is well worth the effort. While Alzheimer’s disease has no cure, it can be treated in an effort to improve quality of life and slow the progression of the illness. Call the senior care professionals at Always Best Care of the Midlands (www.seniorcarecolumbia) today to help your family manage Alzheimer’s care.