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How Dementia is Diagnosed

Dementia is the impaired ability to use cognitive functions. This can damage the ability to think, reason, make decisions, or even feel emotions. This affects the everyday life of the person who has been diagnosed with this illness. Dementia has been proven to be difficult to diagnose. The primary care provider or doctor must be able to notice different patterns of action, or the loss of cognitive skills. Oftentimes dementia is diagnosed through multiple ways, as there could be many reasons for showing signs of dementia. Some of the ways that dementia is diagnosed include the following:

Genetic Testing

Dementia is a condition that can be passed down through genetics. If you or a loved one are showing signs of developing dementia, it is possible to participate in genetic testing to see if dementia is in your genes. If this is an approach that you are wanting to take to see if you or a loved one may have dementia, then it is important to speak with a genetic counselor before and after the visit.

Cognitive Testing

Dementia leads to the deterioration of cognitive abilities. Therefore, these cognitive tests are designed to evaluate thinking as well as physical functioning. These tests include memory testing, reflex testing, language and speaking skills, mathematics skills, balance, and many other tests. These tests are used to determine if a person is declining in cognitive function through the results that the individual gets from the test.

Psychiatric Testing

A common symptom of dementia is a change of mood or even mental state. Oftentimes people feel as though their personality has even changed as a result of the symptoms they are feeling. Psychiatric evaluations are helpful in knowing if a person has developed dementia. These tests help people to know if they are experiencing mental health issues, or if their emotional or mental difficulties are coming from dementia.

Brain Scans

Because dementia has such an effect on the brain, brain scans and testing can be used to help diagnose dementia. These scans can see tumors, strokes, among other brain problems that could lead to the cause of dementia. These tests can help doctors see the function of the brain, along with imaging that will allow professionals to see exactly what is going on in the brain.

Blood Testing

Certain types of blood testing can see if there is any beta-amyloid in the bloodstream. Beta amyloid is a protein that accumulates abnormally in those who have Alzheimer’s disease. While this will help people see if they could potentially have dementia, the blood tests are still being developed to help doctors diagnose dementia. However, these tests are limited and are hard to come by.

If you or a loved one are worried about dementia and are showing symptoms, there are tests that can be taken to help you get a correct diagnosis. Talk with your doctor today to get tests run in order to know what steps need to be taken next. If you or a loved one is diagnosed with dementia, The Gables is here for you. Contact us today if you or a loved one needs help.

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