Medical History and Physical Exam for Dementia or Alzheimer's Disease
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A person's medical history and a physical exam are important parts of the evaluation when the person has symptoms of dementia or Alzheimer's disease.
The doctor will ask questions during a medical history to assess a person's past and current overall health and to find out how well the person functions.
This process may be complicated if the person isn't able to remember important parts of his or her medical history or isn't aware of the memory loss. A family member can be very helpful in providing information about the person's symptoms, such as when the symptoms were first noticed, how quickly they developed, and whether they have continued to get worse.
Other important information in a medical history includes:
The doctor will do a complete physical exam to look for conditions that could cause dementia. He or she also will assess risk factors for dementia, such as alcohol use and heart disease.
The person will also have a complete neurological exam to look for signs of a stroke , such as trouble speaking, hearing, or moving.
The doctor will ask about a change in the person's ability to perform daily tasks. The person or relative may be asked whether the person can:
Primary Medical Reviewer Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Myron F. Weiner, MD - Geriatric Psychiatry
Current as ofDecember 7, 2017
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