|Introduction Diagnosis Managing Alzheimer's |
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A complete diagnostic workup should be considered when informal cognitive tests suggest further evaluation is needed or when a patient or family members express a persistent suspicion that something may be wrong.
It is important for a physician to determine the cause of memory loss or other symptoms. Some dementia-like symptoms can be reversed if they are caused by treatable conditions, such as depression, drug interaction, thyroid problems, excess use of alcohol or certain vitamin deficiencies.
While timely diagnosis is critical for patient safety and quality of life, it should not be considered an end in itself. Once the need for a complete diagnostic workup has been identified, physicians should make cognitive function an ongoing organizing principle of the physician-patient relationship.
View more information about earlier diagnosis.
Updated Diagnostic Guidelines
The Alzheimer’s Association has developed a summary table to help physicians and other healthcare professionals quickly review the new diagnostic criteria. Review the summary table here: In Brief for Healthcare Professionals: New Criteria and Guidelines for Alzheimer’s Disease.