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Screening for Alzheimer Disease

The purpose of screening is early diagnosis and treatment. Screening tests are usually done for people without any current symptoms, but who may be at high risk for certain diseases or conditions.

Screening Tests or Guidelines

There are several tests that doctors may use to screen for Alzheimer disease. Examples include:

  • Neurological exam—to test the nervous system (brain, spinal cord, nerves, and muscles) for evidence of other neurological disorders
  • Wechsler's Logical Memory and Visual Reproduction and Kendrick Object Learning Test—may be used if you have symptoms of depression
  • Seven-Minute Screen
  • Mini-Mental State Exam
  • Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA)
  • Memory Impairment Screening
  • Self-assessment cognitive test—this is a test that you take on your own to assess your memory

Genetic testing is available, but it is not routinely used in most people. It may be done in those with a family history of early-onset Alzheimer. Researchers are also studying whether specialized imaging tests would be helpful in screening for Alzheimer disease. Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) evaluation via a lumbar puncture may play a role in the diagnosis of Alzheimer disease.

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References:

10 early signs and symptoms of Alzheimer's. Alzheimer’s Association website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Accessed October 2, 2017.
Alzheimer dementia. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T114193/Alzheimer-dementia. Updated August 21, 2017. Accessed October 2, 2017.
Alzheimer's disease medications fact sheet. National Institute on Aging website. Available at: https://www.nia.nih.gov/alzheimers/publication/alzheimers-disease-medications-fact-sheet. Updated May 18, 2017. Accessed October 2, 2017.
Drago V, Babiloni C, Bartres-Faz D, et al. Disease tracking markers for Alzheimer’s disease at the prodromal (MCI) stage. J Alzhemier’s Dis. 2011;26 Suppl 3:159-199.
Hampel H, Frank R, Broich K, et al. Biomarkers for Alzheimer’s disease: academic, industry and regulatory perspectives. Nat Rev Drug Discov. 2010;9(7):560-574.
Roalf DR, Moberg PJ, Xie SX, et al. Comparative accuracies of two common screening instruments for classification of Alzheimer’s disease, mild cognitive impairment, and healthy aging. Alzheimers Dement. 2012;9(5):529-537.
Wolk DA, Klunk W. Update on amyloid imaging: from healthy aging to Alzheimer's disease. Curr Neurol Neurosci Rep. 2009;9(5):345-352.
7/6/2009 DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillance https://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T114193/Alzheimer-dementia: Brown J, Pengas G, et al. Self administered cognitive screening test (TYM) for detection of Alzheimer's disease: cross sectional study. BMJ. 2009;338:b2030.
Last reviewed September 2017 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Rimas Lukas, MD
Last Updated: 9/17/2014

 

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