Diagnosis of Alzheimer Disease
by Michelle Badash, MS
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. This includes a thorough neurological evaluation along with a series of tests. Other tests may include those which will increase or decrease the likelihood that you have Alzheimer disease. Your doctor will also perform tests to eliminate the possibility of other conditions causing the dementia.
Tests to Assess Dementia
These tests help determine if you have signs of dementia, how severe the dementia is, or to look for other causes of dementia. They may include:
Additionally, EEG is a test that evaluates and follows the electrical activity of the brain. It is not a common test for evaluating most dementias, but it may be done.
Blood and Urine Tests
Blood and urine tests may be ordered to look for other conditions that cause dementia. The tests may include:
Genetic Tests TOP
Genetic tests can look for markers that increase your risk for early-onset Alzheimer. Your doctor may recommend this test if you have family members with this condition.
Diagnostic Categories TOP
An Alzheimer disease diagnosis usually falls into one of three categories:
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What is Alzheimer's? Alzheimer’s Association website. Available at:
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Accessed October 2, 2017.
9/3/2014 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T114193/Alzheimer-dementia: Wippold FJ, Brown DC, Broderick DF, et al. American College of Radiology (ACR) Appropriateness Criteria for dementia and movement disorders. Available at:
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Updated 2014. Accessed September 3, 2014.
Last reviewed September 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Rimas Lukas, MD
Last Updated: 9/17/2014
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