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