Alzheimer's Disease Screening Tests

Alzheimer's disease is a progressive disease that affects more than 3 million individuals each year, making it one of the more common diseases known today. Alzheimer's affects an individual's memory and cognitive functions or skills over time, in many cases leading to an earlier death. Although there is currently no cure to Alzheimer's disease, there are a few disease screening tests and options in terms of treatment and diagnosis, allowing those who are affected to get the medical attention necessary to retain as much mental and cognitive function as possible, regardless of the stage of the disease when first diagnosed. Understanding some of the Alzheimer's disease screening tests is a way to determine which route you want to take when seeking treatment options and working with your doctor.

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  1. What are some of the most common signs and symptoms of Alzheimer's disease?
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    Individuals who are diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease often note their inability to remember others' names, simple tasks, or even driving directions in the earlier stages of the disease. Over time, the inability to function properly with motor skills or even remembering a relative are also noted in patients.

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  2. What Alzheimer's disease screening tests are available today?
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    Having a traditional MRI, PET scan, or CT scan can help a doctor with the diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease based on the results. In order to learn more about the progression of the disease itself, cerebrospinal fluid is often obtained depending on the patient's age and the physician's choice of treatment. Having multiple MRI scans and PET scans over time once diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease is not uncommon and allows physicians and specialists to determine the effectiveness of the medication and current treatment plan you have in place.

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  3. Are there other diseases closely related to Alzheimer's?
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    Yes. Other diseases that are similar or may be related to developing Alzheimer's disease include dementia, Sundowner's disease, psychosis, and even Parkinson's disease.

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  4. Is there a specific type of physician to look for when diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease?
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    While seeing a neurologist who specializes in Alzheimer's disease is highly recommended, it is also possible to seek out a specialist physician who better understands Alzheimer's disease when diagnosing patients, leading in research, and choosing the right treatment options. Working together with a neurologist and psychiatrist is advisable regardless of the prognosis you have been given and the treatment options you have chosen.

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  5. Can treatment and medications help to slow the progression of Alzheimer's disease?
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    In some cases it is possible for medications and treatment to slow the progression of Alzheimer's disease based on the current progression of Alzheimer's in a patient as well as how an individual responds to medications individually.

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  6. Is there a cure for Alzheimer's?
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    Unfortunately there is not currently a cure in place for Alzheimer's disease altogether, although seeking treatment as quickly as possible in conjunction with medications on the market available today help to slow the progression of the disease to live a more healthy and fulfilling life.

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  7. Are there risk factors of developing Alzheimer's disease?
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    The most common risk factor of Alzheimer's known today is a gene that is inherited. There are not additional risk factors to look out for when diagnosing a patient, which is why it is important to take into account family history and knowing who has been affected by the disease in your own family tree.

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  8. What is the age most patients with Alzheimer's disease are diagnosed?
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    Although there is not a current age that Alzheimer's begins in all patients, it is more common to begin showing signs of the disease later in life and usually after the age of 50.

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