Diagnosing Alzheimer’s Disease

At this time, there is no single test that can accurately diagnose Alzheimers Disease. Doctors use a variety of assessments and examinations to make a final diagnosis, Including Memory testing, Brain scans and Laboratory & genetic testing.

At each stage of the Alzheimer’s Disease, there are symptoms common to most sufferers. The symptoms commonly seen in each stage are summarized below, however, it is important to realize that there may be some overlap among the stages. In addition, every Alzheimer’s sufferer may not experience all of the symptoms at each stage.

The symptoms for each Alzheimer’s stage mild, moderate, and severe are:

Mild Symptoms

  • Confusion and memory loss
  • Disorientation; getting lost in familiar surroundings
  • Problems with routine tasks
  • Changes in personality and judgment

Moderate Symptoms

  • Difficulty with activities of daily living, such as eating and bathing
  • Anxiety, suspiciousness, agitation, and withdrawal
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Wandering, pacing
  • Difficulty recognizing family and friends

Severe Symptoms

  • Loss of speech
  • Loss of appetite; weight loss
  • Loss of bladder and bowel control
  • Total dependence on care-giver

Source: Gwyther LP. Care of Alzheimer’s Patients: A Manual for Nursing Home Staff, Chicago: AHCA and AA, 1985.

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