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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Alzheimer's Disease: Diagnosis & Tests
      Category : Health Centers > Brain and Nervous System

Alzheimer's Disease

Alternate Names : Organic Brain Syndrome

Alzheimer's Disease | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

How is the disease diagnosed?

The diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease is based on a history of increasing memory loss and other cognitive impairments. Changes in behavior, personality, and judgment may also be clues to the disease.

Since there is no definitive test for Alzheimer's disease, it is important to rule out other conditions or diseases that may cause the symptoms. These include the following:

  • multiple strokes
  • Parkinson's disease, a degenerative nerve disorder that causes tremors and mental decline
  • normal pressure hydrocephalus, which is excessive fluid around the brain
  • a deficiency of vitamin B12
  • hypothyroidism, or low levels of thyroid hormone
  • alcoholism and drug abuse
  • infectious diseases that cause brain degeneration, such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, viral infections, or fungal infections
  • poisoning with carbon monoxide or methyl alcohol
  • depression
  • medication side effects or drug interactions
  • brain tumors
  • The clinical diagnosis of Alzheimer's can be made with an accuracy up to 90% based on these symptoms and the results of a collection of tests.

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    Alzheimer's Disease: Symptoms & Signs


    Alzheimer's Disease: Prevention & Expectations

    Author: Tamara Miller, MD
    Reviewer: Barbara Mallari, RN, BSN, PHN
    Date Reviewed: 07/15/01

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