Diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease is quite difficult, especially at the initial stage when clinical manifestations are few. Sometimes the onset of the disease goes unnoticed either by the patient or next of kin. More than half of people who have reached 65 years of suffer forgetfulness, the appearance of which is associated with age-related changes. The disease, however, continues to progress, join all the new features.
For accurate diagnosis of the symptoms must be present for at least six months, a shorter period, the diagnosis can only be conjectural.
Diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease is based on the history of life of the patient, clinical observations, in this case are taken into account the neurological and neuropsychological symptoms ruled out an alternative diagnosis. In order to better assess the state of health of the patient is necessary to test intellectual function and memory. Today, we developed a set of criteria against which confirmed the presence of cognitive biases in the testing.
Currently used criteria NINCDS-ADRDA, affecting eight body functions affected by this disease: memory, language, perception of space and orientation, attention, ability to make decisions and carry out any work. In addition, today also used DSM criteria according to which the patient gradually increases observed deviations in mind, as well as one of the cognitive functions. By using these criteria, diagnostic accuracy can be achieved in 90-95%.
EEG (electroencephalography) – research activity of brain cells. At an early stage, generally unremarkable but by this inspection can exclude other pathologies.
Computed tomography (CT) – at an early stage allows to eliminate the disease with similar symptoms.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in Alzheimer’s disease makes it possible to consider in detail the brain tissue on the screen, while excluding other disorders. When scanning you can get information about the state of the deep layers of the tissue, its structure and functioning in certain areas.
Single photon emission tomography (SPECT) – highly informative method for the detection of typical violations of the disease. In the three-dimensional image, you can see the blood flow in certain areas, to evaluate some brain function.
Laboratory Diagnostic Methods
With the help of a blood test can Diagnosis risk factors that trigger the development of diseases, among which are most often found increased cholesterol levels, lipids, glucose, etc. It is also important to study (biochemical) cerebrospinal fluid for the presence of specific markers degenerative process -. Increase the level of tau protein and a decrease amyloid protein. This research can play an important role at the stage predementsi when the diagnosis is extremely difficult because of unexpressed symptoms. In addition, repeatedly appeared information about the opening of the high-accuracy test in foreign academic circles, intended for early diagnosis, allowing to detect the disease for several years before the symptoms are severe.
In addition to Alzheimer’s disease symptoms may develop progressive dementia in other diseases. First of all it is necessary to exclude encephalopathy due to endocrine or systemic diseases, intoxication, brain tumors, and others. The most common is a differential diagnosis with vascular dementia.
The use of modern methods of examination can detect the disease at a stage when the prevention of further progression of the disease is quite real. However, the high accuracy of the diagnosis is possible only in a specialized center, where the equipment and professionalism allow the use of all the possibilities of modern medicine.