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Symptoms » Dementia » Diagnostic Tests

Diagnostic Tests for Dementia

Diagnostic Test list for Dementia:

The list of diagnostic tests mentioned in various sources as used in the diagnosis of Dementia includes:

  • General appearance
    • Looking for any dysmorphic ( abnormality of shape) features of face and body - e.g. Down syndrome, Cornelia de Lange syndrome, Prader-Willi syndrome, Soto's syndrome - may suggest intellectual disturbance rather than dementia.
  • Physical examination
    • Examine for signs that symptoms may be due to delirium rather than dementia - e.g. temperature, neck stiffness (may suggest meningitis or subarachnoid hemorrhage), neurological examination to look for focal neurological signs and papilledema.
    • If suspect multi-infarct dementia, examine for signs of vascular pathology e.g. high blood pressure, signs of previous strokes
    • Mini-mental state examination - if dementia is suspected test memory and cognitive function.
  • Blood tests
  • Urine tests
    • Urine drug screen
  • Radiological investigations
    • CT scan or MRI brain - can detect changes of several causes of dementia.
  • Spinal tap - may be required to diagnose multiple sclerosis, neurosyphilis, meningitis.
  • EEG - may be helpful in demonstrating drug intoxication and some types of dementia.
  • IQ test

Home Diagnostic Testing

These home medical tests may be relevant to Dementia causes:

Tests and diagnosis discussion for Dementia:

Dementia is a clinical diagnosis made by a physician. Although there are a number of different checklists available, the "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual-IV" is the most widely accepted list of criteria for dementia. A patient, who has an acquired problem of memory, cognitive ability, and problems with functional abilities, may have a dementia syndrome. The patient must not have a confusional state, such as delirium or drug intoxication, at the time of diagnosis. A skilled physician can apply these criteria to detect the presence of dementia, but some physicians may be far more skilled than others in this regard. (Source: excerpt from DEMENTIA: NWHIC)

People who are worried about memory problems should see their doctor. If the doctor believes that the problem is serious, then a thorough physical, neurological, and psychiatric evaluation may be recommended. A complete medical examination for memory loss may include gathering information about the person's medical history, including use of prescription and over-the-counter medicines, diet, past medical problems, and general health. Because a correct diagnosis depends on recalling these details accurately, the doctor also may ask a family member for information about the person.

Tests of blood and urine may be done to help the doctor find any problems. There are also tests of mental abilities (tests of memory, problem solving, counting, and language). A brain CT scan may assist the doctor in ruling out a curable disorder. A scan also may show signs of normal age-related changes in the brain. It may be necessary to have another scan at a later date to see if there have been further changes in the brain.

Alzheimer's disease and multi-infarct dementia can exist together, making it hard for the doctor to diagnose either one specifically. Scientists once thought that multi-infarct dementia and other types of vascular dementia caused most cases of irreversible mental impairment. They now believe that most older people with irreversible dementia have Alzheimer's disease. (Source: excerpt from Forgetfulness It's Not Always What You Think -- Age Page -- Health Information: NIA)

Conditions listing medical symptoms: Dementia:

The following list of conditions have 'Dementia' or similar listed as a symptom in our database. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.

Select from the following alphabetical view of conditions which include a symptom of Dementia or choose View All.

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Conditions listing medical complications: Dementia:

The following list of medical conditions have 'Dementia' or similar listed as a medical complication in our database.


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