Memory Clinics Overview
Memory clinics, or dementia diagnostic clinics, are staffed by providers who are well-informed in the diagnosis and treatment of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Contacting one of the clinics or your parent’s primary care physician is an important first step when you have concerns about memory loss, thinking skills and behavior changes.
Early Diagnosis is Key
Dementia is a decline in intellectual ability severe enough to interfere with a person’s daily routine. Dementia is related to depression, drug interaction and thyroid problems, but it may be reversible if detected early. Other causes of dementia include strokes, Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and Pick’s disease. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia. It is important to identify the actual cause in order for the individual the receive proper care.
If you’re concerned your loved one is showing signs of Alzheimer’s disease, an early diagnosis can make a tremendous difference in quality of life. An early diagnosis allows more time to plan for the future. Decisions regarding care, living arrangements, financial and legal matters, and other important issues can be addressed.
There is no one diagnostic test to detect Alzheimer’s disease. Doctors make the diagnosis by reviewing the person’s detailed medical history and the results of several tests, including a complete physical and neurological examination, a psychiatric assessment and laboratory tests. Once these test are complete, a diagnosis of “probable” Alzheimer’s disease can be made by process of elimination. Physicians are usually 80 to 90 percent certain their diagnosis is accurate.
For further information on the steps involved in the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, visit Alzheimer’s Association.
Source: Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Institute