Everything You Need to Know About a Los Angeles Dementia Test
While there is one test to determine a diagnosis for several conditions, such as HIV or the common flu, there is no single test that can provide certainty on whether a person has dementia or not. One of the reasons is that dementia is actually a term that describes various different conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies, etc. Typically, loved ones usually start noticing memory problems or other cognitive failings in their parents or grandparents, and they initiate a visit to a dementia doctor. While different types of dementia may present different symptoms, most commonly individuals may forget people they know very well, can get lost while driving to familiar places, or may not be able to conduct regular tasks, like making a grocery list.
Going to the doctor for a dementia diagnosis can be a long and difficult process. This can require multiple tests and some time to determine what type of dementia the person is afflicted with. The most common type is Alzheimer’s disease, followed by vascular dementia. As well, a doctor will determine what stage of dementia the person has, either early early, moderate or severe. These are the tests a Los Angeles physician will likely perform to find out whether a person has dementia or not.
Dementia Test Procedures
Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE)
The MMSE is a popular choice for a variety of mental abilities tests that a physician may give to a person suspected of having dementia. This test consists of various exercises that tests the person’s mental abilities, such as memory, attention, concentration, communication skills, etc. The maximum score a person can get on each exercise is 30 points. This test involves memorization, repetition, writing and time-orientation exercises.
It is important to understand that this test is not a full-proof answer to whether a person has dementia or not, but is an indication of the level of mental and cognitive decline. The test has limitations that are based on education, such as a person who has not gone to school may not be able to read or write in the first place, even without mental decline.
A dementia doctor in Los Angeles will perform laboratory tests, not to determine whether a person has dementia, but to rule out other conditions that may be causing symptoms of dementia. Common blood tests performed are a Vitamin B12 blood test to check for a possible vitamin deficiency and a thyroid hormone test to check thyroid function. Depending on each person’s individual situation, additional lab tests may be performed.
Brain scans are often used to check for signs of dementia, as well as to rule out other causes of memory or cognitive decline, such as a stroke or a brain tumor. A computerized tomography (CT) scan or a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan can be performed to check for these conditions as well as possibly diagnose the type of dementia a person has.
After a dementia diagnosis, it may be worthwhile to search for a Los Angeles dementia pharmaceutical trial. Since there is no cure for dementia, it may be beneficial to get into a trial that is testing the latest dementia medication or treatment, which is not available to the general public yet. As well, those chosen to participate will also get free lab care, free doctor visits and compensation.
Call Pacific Institute of Medical Research at (310) 208-7144 or go online to find out more information.