There is NO test that can positively diagnose Alzheimer’s or Dementia. It is about ruling out all of the other things that could possibly be going on. The family doctor checked her thyroid and it was fine. It can become “sluggish” in older people. This can cause memory loss, fatigue, and depression. Oh My!
The first step should be finding out about family history. In our case my mother’s two older sisters had it. Next, they will have a person take the SAGE test. It’s a test that a person takes with pen and paper so see how the cognitive skills are. I have printed this test off and we will be taking it with us to her appointment. You can click on the previous link and download your very own copy.
Hopefully, they will do an M.R.I. It will detect shrinkage in specific regions of the mid-brain attacked by Alzheimer’s disease according to sciencedaily.com. They could also do a PET Imaging test. She would be given a die that would make it possible to detect the amyloid plaques in the brain. Many people have these plaques but show no sign of cognitive decline.
A series of blood tests should also be run checking for conditions other than Alzheimer’s that may cause confused thinking, trouble focusing, or memory problems. It can include anemia, depression, infection, diabetes, kidney disease, liver disease, certain vitamin deficiencies, thyroid abnormalities, and problems with the heart, blood vessels, and lungs. alz.org
I read on alzheimersreadingroom.com that 17 to 30 % of Alzheimer’s patients are misdiagnosed.
After going through the process of the doctor visit, SAGE test, and other tests we decided to forgo pursuing an “accurate” diagnosis. What’s the point really? We know she forgets, we know she needs our help, and we know that it’s certainly not going to get any better so why put her through all of the unnecessary testing. She’s 80 years old and I just think it’s definitely time that she got to live her life on her own terms.
She’ll be here for as long as she’s supposed to be and not a moment longer. It’s more important to us that she is healthy and safe! What would you do?
Here is a post I wrote about the 10 Signs of Alzheimer’s that may offer some insight into what you’re dealing with!
This post was originally written in Mar of 2014 when the only people who read my site was my family…and I had to pay them to do that! Just kidding. I’ve updated it and reworked it for your viewing pleasure.