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Symptoms and diagnosis
Learn the 10 warning signs of Alzheimer’s.
Recognizing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease can be difficult. Too often its signs – forgetfulness, confusion and anger – are attributed to age, stress, depression or poor health.
The experts at Banner Alzheimer’s Institute utilize a combination of exams to determine if symptoms result from Alzheimer’s, other dementia or an unrelated medical condition. Our team considers three key questions during diagnosis:
Are there changes in memory and thinking abilities?
What could be causing memory loss or thinking changes?
Are the symptoms and course of the disease consistent with what we know about Alzheimer’s or other dementias?
Diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease requires comprehensive medical testing and a thorough physical exam. At Banner Alzheimer’s Institute we’ve created an efficient approach – delivered with compassion – that keeps you informed every step of the way.
Before a consultation
Prior to the first appointment, a family member of the person experiencing memory loss will be asked to:
Complete a detailed medical and social history
Accompany the person experiencing memory loss to the appointment
During a consultation
The Banner Alzheimer’s Institute team conducts tests that provide information about memory and thinking abilities, along with physical and neurological exams, including:
A blood analysis to evaluate overall health and search for thyroid and nutritional deficiencies
Brain imaging (opens in new window) – magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computed tomography (CT) scan – to rule out stroke, tumor or fluid in the brain
A spinal tap or positron emission tomography (PET) scan if the teams believes it will assist with the diagnosis
After a consultation
Once the exam, lab and imaging results are complete, your Banner Alzheimer’s Institute physician (opens in new window)– in consultation with other team experts – will provide a diagnosis. Depending on the diagnosis, the next step is an individualized treatment plan that addresses symptoms and assists with everyday living.