Finding out you or a family member have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s can leave you with many emotions. For some people it can be upsetting or may come as a shock. For others, receiving an ‘official’ medical diagnosis can simply confirm what has long been suspected.
The below diagram shows the usual route to diagnosis for a patient in the early stages of Alzheimer’s Disease. Typically, a patient or sometimes their family members report memory problems to their GP. The GP will ask a series of questions and may conduct a short test of mental ability. On the basis of this, the doctor will decide whether to refer a patient on to a specialist.
General Practitioner (GP)
Report memory complaints to a GP. On the basis of an examination, some questions and a brief memory assessment, referral to a specialist may be made.
A specialist and their team may perform a thorough set of examinations. This may include in depth memory testing and brain scans.
Doctors will rule out other possible causes of dementia-like conditions. To make a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, doctors use specific standardised tests and procedures.