At our center we regularly monitor patients for cognitive changes that could signal the dementia, utilizing evidence-based screening tests along with detailed neuropsychological evaluation.
Doctors may send for different laboratory tests to help diagnose dementia and/or rule out other conditions, such as thyroid or vitamin deficiencies, that can contribute to symptoms.
Some examples of tests that may be requested include a complete blood count, blood glucose test, urinalysis, drug and alcohol tests (toxicology screen) and analysis of thyroid and thyroid-stimulating hormone levels. Our specialists order only the tests that are necessary and/or likely to improve the accuracy of a diagnosis.
Experts believe that biomarkers (short for “biological markers”) offer a possible path for future Alzheimer’s disease detection.
A biomarker is something that can be measured to accurately and reproducibly indicate the presence of disease. Several potential biomarkers are being studied for their ability to indicate early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. Examples include beta-amyloid and tau levels in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and brain changes detectable by imaging (e.g. amyloid imaging).
Research suggests that Alzheimer’s disease in early stages may be detectable through changes in CSF levels of tau and beta-amyloid, two proteins that form abnormal brain deposits strongly linked to Alzheimer’s.