Alzheimer’s can be diagnosed in several different ways. Often, Alzheimer’s is diagnosed through a doctor’s exam. They will evaluate your signs and symptoms by administering several tests. They may talk to friends and family members to find out more about symptoms and behaviors.
To diagnose Alzheimer’s, a primary doctor, a doctor trained in brain conditions (neurologist), or a doctor trained to treat older adults (geriatrician) will review your symptoms, medical history, and medication history. They may interview someone who knows you well, such as a close friend or family member. Your doctor will also perform a physical examination.
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
- How your thinking problems affect your ability to function in daily life
- The cause of your symptoms
Doctors may order additional laboratory or brain-imaging tests or send you for detailed memory testing. These tests can provide doctors with useful information for the diagnosis, including ruling out other conditions that cause similar symptoms.