Alzheimer’s disease typically plagues elderly people, and occasionally those who are younger, though that’s typically due to a genetic defect. Because of the impact it has on one’s memory, people are normally very anxious to stay ahead of the disease, and they take a proactive stance to prevent it.
With this proactive stance, diagnosticians have been able to devise a set of Alzheimer’s disease testing tools that can detect symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease in its earlier stages. As of yet, there is no single diagnostic test that is able to determine if a person has Alzheimer’s disease, but the battery of testing that is available makes it possible for physicians to diagnose it with about 90 percent accuracy. Alzheimer’s disease testing can take anywhere from one day to several weeks to ensure accuracy and proper diagnosis.
One of the major components of Alzheimer’s disease testing is that which assesses mental capability of the person. A mental status evaluation given by a physician helps to determine their sense of time and place, the ability to understand, remember and communicate. This test also assesses the ability to perform simple mathematical problems.
There is also a series of evaluations that test reasoning, vision-motor coordination, language skills and simple memory functions. The physician may also suggest an evaluation with a psychiatrist, for information regarding moods, and other emotional factors commonly associated with Alzheimer’s disease. The psychological portion of Alzheimer’s disease testing is a relatively simple, quick and non-invasive tool to assess mental capacity.
Although Alzheimer’s disease primarily affects the psychological functions, it also takes its toll on the physical body. Alzheimer’s disease testing has a physical portion that helps to rule out other possibilities for why someone might be experiencing similar symptoms. A primary care physician or diagnostician will likely perform a general physical examination, which will give the doctor information about the person’s nutritional status, pulse, and blood pressure.
They might also perform an examination that tests balance, sensation, and other nervous system; the major area affected by Alzheimer’s disease. A brain scan such as a CT scan or MRI can also be performed to illustrate areas of degeneration caused by Alzheimer’s disease. Several laboratory tests evaluating blood and urine functions can be used to provide information about other possibilities for Alzheimer-like symptoms.
Although there is currently no way to stop Alzheimer’s disease once it has affected the body, Alzheimer’s disease testing is an effective way to detect the symptoms and if someone has Alzheimer’s disease, learn ways to deal with the illness while their cognitive functions are still intact.