What is Dementia? (Part 1)
What is Dementia? (Part 2)
Early signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s dementia
Early signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s dementia include:
- Memory impairment, such as difficulty remembering events
- Difficulty concentrating, planning or problem-solving
- Problems finishing daily tasks at home or at work
- Confusion with location or passage of time
- Having visual or space difficulties, such as not understanding distance in driving, getting lost or misplacing items
- Language problems, such as word-finding problems or reduced vocabulary in speech or writing
- Using poor judgment in decisions
- Withdrawal from work events or social engagements
- Changes in mood, such as depression or other behavior and personality changes
Alzheimer’s dementia can affect several aspects of your daily life.
When warning signs of Alzheimer’s dementia appear, it’s important that you get a prompt and accurate diagnosis.
Diagnosing Alzheimer’s dementia
To diagnose Alzheimer’s dementia, your primary doctor, a doctor trained in brain conditions (neurologist) or a doctor trained to treat older adults (geriatrician) will review your medical history, medication history and your symptoms. Your doctor will also conduct several tests.
During your appointment, your doctor will evaluate:
- Whether you have impaired memory or thinking (cognitive) skills
- Whether you exhibit changes in personality or behaviors
- The degree of your memory or thinking impairment or changes
- How your thinking problems affect your ability to function in daily life
- The cause of your symptoms
Doctors may order additional laboratory tests, brain-imaging tests or send you for memory testing. These tests can provide doctors with useful information for diagnosis, including ruling out other conditions that cause similar symptoms. (Learn More)