Test for Dementia

Usually the signs and symptoms of dementia are clearly recognized. Here are some of the tests used to diagnose dementia:

  • Detailed medical interview is usually the first step in the process of diagnosis. The doctor would ask you questions about your medications, medical problems and history, travel and work history, family history and your lifestyle.
  • The next step is the review of medications that you may be consuming. Sometimes, dementia could be a side effect of medications.
  • The doctor then performs a physical examination to look for evidence of any past or present illnesses.
  • The patient can then be referred to a specific specialist such as a neurologist, psychiatrist or a geriatrician.
  • There is an evaluation of the patient's medical status. The doctor then performs a test called the neuropsychologic test.
  • Further testing includes testing for assessment of cognitive abilities such as orientation, memory, attention and use of language. The doctor may also test for abstract thinking, reasoning and problem smoking.
  • Lab tests include complete blood count, blood chemistry, thyroid tests, vitamin levels – especially vitamin B, liver function, STD panel, hormone tests, heavy metal poisoning and urine test.
  • The doctor may choose to test your cerebrospinal fluid. You may also have to get a urine test.
  • Imaging tests include CT scans, SPECT test and an EEG.