Dementia is a complex illness that researchers are still learning about. Diagnosing dementia must therefore be done carefully and thoroughly. This is to help eliminate other diseases with similar symptoms before concluding that the core issue is dementia.
- A thorough physical examination is the first step to rule out issues like infections.
- The doctor will take the patient’s medical history
- The doctor may administer a dementia screening test or a cognitive test. This involves a series of questions which help to gauge memory skills, thinking ability, orientation, etc.
- The doctor may refer the person to a specialist, or send them to get a CT scan, which takes X-ray images of the brain, or an MRI and EEG which detects abnormal brain wave activity, or another similar test as needed.
- The doctor may also do blood tests to ensure that symptoms are not in fact due to thyroid functions problems, or deficiencies.
Prepare for your doctor’s visit:
Ensure that you record all medications, vitamins, and food supplements being used by the person with dementia. Ask to speak to your doctor privately if you are afraid of offending your loved one with dementia. This checklist can help you prepare for your doctor’s visit.