Diagnosis of Alzheimer's Disease

There is not a single, comprehensive test for the diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease. By ruling out other conditions through a process of elimination, physicians, or other specialists, can obtain a diagnosis of probable Alzheimer's disease with approximately 90 percent accuracy. However, the only way to confirm a diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease is through autopsy.

Examination and evaluation are essential in determining whether the dementia is the result of a treatable illness. In addition to a complete medical history and extensive neurological motor and sensory exam, the diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease may include the following:

  • mental status test
  • neuropsychological testing
  • blood tests
  • lumbar puncture (spinal tap)
  • urinalysis
  • chest x-ray
  • electroencephalogram (EEG)
  • CT scan
  • ECG or EKG

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