Dementia refers to a group of conditions in which there is a progressive decline in memory and other cognitive functions. Dementia is not a disease; it is a symptom of an underlying brain disorder. There are many possible causes of dementia, some of which can be eliminated with proper diagnosis and treatment, particularly if the cause is found promptly. Other forms of dementia may be managed with specific treatments.
Because there are many possible causes, an evaluation by a neurologist with expertise in this area should be sought as soon as possible. This evaluation will consist of a detailed history, a review of other medical problems and medications, and a thorough examination. Based on these factors, a comprehensive series of tests designed to characterize the specific symptoms and identify possible causes may be necessary. When a diagnosis is made, a treatment plan will be recommended.
Some of the specific conditions responsible for symptoms of dementia include:
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Mild Cognitive Impairment
- Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus
- Frontotemporal Dementia
There is no single, comprehensive test for diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease. Our neurology specialists will perform examinations and evaluations to determine a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease – in addition to a complete medical history and physical examination. Diagnostic procedures include:
- Neuropsychological tests
- Blood work
- CT or MRI Scans
- Electroencephalogram (EEG)