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Early Diagnosis and Treatment

Getting diagnosed early does two things. It helps ensure your loved one gets the proper treatment sooner. And helps you, the Alzheimer's caregiver, prepare for the future. At least half of Americans with Alzheimer's disease don't know they have it, and knowing is the first step towards getting treatment.

The Benefits of an Early Alzheimer's Diagnosis

  • Early Alzheimer's Diagnosis:

    • Could mean earlier access to medical professionals and Alzheimer's treatment options like Exelon Patch.
    • Lets those with Alzheimer's make plans regarding their care and finances ahead of time, so that their wishes can be carried out when they're no longer able to make such decisions for themselves.
    • Helps Alzheimer's patients and caregivers get counseling to address safety issues related to later stages of Alzheimer's ahead of time, helping to prevent unnecessary stress.
    • Gives you more time to develop a routine around your loved one's medication.
    • Might reveal a form of dementia not attributable to Alzheimer's with a potentially reversible cause, such as depression or a vitamin B12 deficiency.

    Caregiver Insight

    Bringing your loved one to the doctor for an evaluation can be difficult, but don't let the fear of an unwanted Alzheimer's diagnosis keep you from seeking the truth. Once you get to the root of the problem, you can take steps to prepare for the future.

    Caregiver Insight

    Norma talks about the importance of doing your research and getting a diagnosis.

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How Alzheimer's Disease is Diagnosed

No single test can tell you if it is or isn't Alzheimer's disease. To rule out other possible causes of symptoms during the evaluation, the doctor or health care professional may:

  • Conduct a complete physical exam.
  • Take urine or blood samples, or both.
  • Carry out memory and psychological tests to see how well the brain is working.
  • Order a brain scan, such as a computerized tomography scan.

Caregiver Insight

When seeking a diagnosis, it's natural to start by taking your loved one to the primary care doctor you already know and trust.

Find out if your loved one is showing signs or symptoms of Alzheimerís disease.

Find out if your loved one is showing signs or symptoms of Alzheimerís disease.

Prepare for a trip to the doctor with your loved one using this list of questions about Alzheimerís.

Prepare for a trip to the doctor with your loved one using this list of questions.

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