Seeking The Alzheimer Diagnosis And Designing A Treatment Plan

Many individuals are seeking answers to why they or someone they love are experiencing loss of memory, difficulty speaking, writing or reading and also getting to know why they no longer recognize once familiar faces or places. The answers come in the form of a diagnosis and the relief in the form of a treatment plan.

The diagnosis for Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) comes from a professional who is experienced in the diagnosing of dementia type diseases. The diagnosis can be an accurate one, 80 to 90% of the time. The diagnosis is usually labeled as “probable” because a definitive diagnosis can only be done when a piece of brain tissue is examined which usually isn’t done until an autopsy is done after the individual has died. This brain biopsy can be done when the person is still living but it is a painful and also risky procedure. The probably diagnosis of AD is made using a medical history form, and an evaluation of the person’s presenting symptoms. Basic laboratory tests of blood and urine may be taken to help make the diagnosis as well as possibly a spinal fluid examination. Neuropsychological tests may be performed that center on evaluating the individual’s memory, attention span, ability to problem solve, and cognitive abilities that can help the medical professional to make the diagnosis. Brain scans such as a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computerized tomography (CT) scan or positron emission tomography (PET) may be done also as a means for making the diagnosis.

Designing the treatment plan:

The treatment plan will take into consideration the findings from the diagnostic proceedings. Typically the disease is a slowly progressing one but it can move faster and be aggressive in nature. This characteristic is different from one individual to the next. Some individuals have it long-term and others have it the last few years of their life.

The disease cannot be cured or stopped in its tracks. Scientists and researchers are always studying new ideas in order to develop better treatment options. Scientists also work with teaching hospitals and universities in an effort to study clinical trials and the experimental drugs associated with these trials. The more studies completed the more information is made available about Alzheimer’s.

Once diagnosed, individuals with AD should routinely see their medical professional treating them. Progressive diseases must be tracked and monitored carefully to assure the individual that the best course of action is being taken.

As the disease advances the type of care and amount of care needed increases.

It is important for you or someone you know to seek a diagnosis and treatment when Alzheimer’s is suspected. Time is precious and being robbed of memories and cognitive abilities is not a present thing to experience or watch. The sooner you seek medical evaluation, the sooner help can happen.

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