How Is Alzheimer's Disease Diagnosed?

Dr. Petersen answers the question: 'How Is Alzheimer's Disease Diagnosed?'

ByRonald Petersen, M.d., Ph.d., Director, Mayo Alzheimer's Disease Research Center, Mayo Clinic
November 19, 2008, 12:19 PM

May 4, 2009 -- Question: How is Alzheimer's disease diagnosed?

Answer: [A determination of] Alzheimer's disease is made by what we call a clinical diagnosis. By that we mean there is no blood test; there's no X-ray that says Alzheimer's disease, yes or no. Rather, it's a judgment on the part of your doctor based on information from you, information from people who know you well, and examination -- perhaps a cognitive or a test of your memory and thinking, maybe an imaging scan, like an MRI scan.

And then, putting all that information together your doctor will come to the conclusion that you do or do not meet criteria for Alzheimer's disease.

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