Medical Tests for Diagnosing a Person with Dementia

A wide range of assessments and diagnostic procedures is necessary to diagnose dementia, but there are many that are relatively commonly utilised in order to identify dementia.

These medical tests for dementia are mainly assessments of mental abilities, blood tests as well as brain scans.

Tests of mental abilities to diagnose dementia

People who have symptoms of dementia are usually given questionnaires that will evaluate their mental abilities, to determine how serious any memory issues could be. One commonly used test is the mini mental state examination (MMSE).

The MMSE assesses a variety of mental abilities, including:

language and communication skills
capacity to plan
capability to understand instructions
short- and long-term memory
attention span
focus/concentration

The MMSE is a selection of exercises, each and everytest carrying a score with a highest possible of 30 points. These types of exercises consist of:

memorising a simple listing of items and then saying again the list
composing a brief paragraph that is grammatically accurate, for example “the dog sat on the floor”
properly responding to time-orientation questions, for example determining the day of the week, the date or the year

The MMSE is not a test to diagnose dementia. But, it is important for examining the degree of mental impairment that a person with dementia could possibly have.

Test scores may be affected by a person’s degree of education and learning. For instance, a person that can’t read or write adequately could have a lower rating, but they may not have dementia. Likewise, someone with an advanced level of education may gain a higher score, yet still have dementia.

Patient Assessment in Screening for Dementia

Blood tests for dementia

A person with suspected dementia may have blood tests to test their overall level of health. These blood tests could also rule out other issues that may be liable for their conditions, like thyroid hormones and vitamin B12 levels.

Check out this New Blood Test Can Predict Alzheimer’s, Mild Dementia Video

Dementia brain scans

Brain scans are usually used for diagnosing dementia once other basic simpler assessments have ruled out other conditions. They are necessary to look for evidence of other potential issues that could clarify an individuals symptoms, say for example a major stroke or possibly a brain tumour.

A computerised tomography (CT) scan can be chosen to verify signs of stroke or a brain tumour. But, not like an MRI scan, a CT scan are unable to present in depth details about the outline of the human brain.

An MRI scan provides more information about the blood vessel destruction that develops in vascular dementia, as well as any kind of shrinking of the human brain. In frontotemporal dementia, the frontal and temporal lobes are primarily impaired by shrinking. (MRI) scans to help confirm a diagnosis of dementia.

Check out this Dementia Diagnosis with Brain Scan Technology Video

Alternative scans and methods to diagnose dementia

Single photon-emission computed tomography (SPECT) scan or a positron emission tomography (PET) scan, could be suggested if the result of your CT or MRI scan is unclear. These types of scans examine how the brain functions and can pick up irregularities with the blood circulation in the brain.
Occasionally, an electroencephalogram (EEG) may be taken to capture the brain’s electrical impulses.

Check out this Diagnosis of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease Video

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