by Susanne Mitschke
A big number of MindMate users are people who do not have a dementia diagnosis and who just want to keep their brains sharp. Still, many do ask us if there is a way to test oneself or if there are tests made by doctors that can give an exact dementia diagnosis.
First of all, it should be clear that no single test can prove a person has Alzheimer's. Only a comprehensive assessment can lead to a diagnosis.
Usually, the assessment would include tests concerning mental abilities and blood, as well as brain imaging.
Early detection does matter, and if you notice any early signs of dementia you should see a doctor.
We made an overview of the most common mental status tests, genetic testing and and brain scans.
We will also answer the question, if this tests are really effective and if they can really diagnose someone with dementia.
Testing Mental Abilities
If the doctor wants to identify changes in brain structure a CT (computerised tomography), CAT (computerised axial tomography) and MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) can be done.
Changes in brain activities can be identified with SPECT (single photon emission computerised tomography) and PET (positron emission tomography) scans.
The Alzheimer's Association provides you with more information about genetics related dementia.
Such tests could detect genes that increase the risk of developing Alzheimer's, like APOE-e4, and other rare "deterministic" genes that directly cause autosomal dominant Alzheimer's disease (ADAD) or "familial Alzheimer's".
Are these tests and quizzes effective?
Although these test might give an indication and increase the number of early detections, none of them are 100% accurate. “There’s no test that can tell you that somebody is definitely going to get Alzheimer’s disease,” says Dr. Deborah Blacker, professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and director of the Gerontology Research Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital. A combination of mental tests, physical assessments and medical history will help to get as close to a definite answer as possible.
What do you think about Alzheimer's or dementia tests? If you have been diagnosed with dementia, how did you get your diagnosis?
We are looking forward to your answers in the comment section!