It can be a very distressing time when you suspect that your loved one may be showing the beginning signs of Dementia. Knowing where to start with getting your loved one an official diagnosis can be incredibly overwhelming. This is why we have put together a clear 5 step guide which shows the journey of getting a Dementia diagnosis.
My Mum is showing symptoms of dementia, how do I find out if it’s Alzheimer’s or something else?
It may be that you have noticed your loved one becoming increasingly forgetful or struggling to keep track of the time which has lead you to look into dementia as a possible cause. But how do you get a diagnosis? And how do you find out what type of dementia your loved one may have?
The first step to take would be to get a GP referral to a Memory Clinic. A Memory Clinic can offer services from various specialists including dementia nurses, psychologists and geriatricians. Fortunately, there are many Memory Clinics in the UK making it convenient for you to attend appointments with your loved one.
An assessment will be carried out on your loved one to enable medical professionals to gain a basic understanding of your loved ones present memory problems.
Your loved one will be presented with the option to have a series of tests carried out. The tests will assess your loved ones capability to retain information and remember facts.
It is likely that blood and urine tests will be carried out which will help to highlight any anomalies that will assist with an accurate diagnosis. There are also a number of scans that may be carried out:
EEG- Electroencephalogram imaging which records electrical activity.
MRI- Magnetic Resonance Imaging which shows a detailed image of the brain.
CAT- X-ray images of the brain
SPECT- relies on a single photon emission computerised tomography to assess blood flow through the brain.
We know that these scans may appear scary, but be assured that all of them are entirely painless for your loved one. The scans help specialist medical professionals to classify areas of the brain that are damaged or have shrunk.
If a diagnosis has not been ascertained yet, there is a chance that your loved one may be invited back to the Memory Clinic after the scans have been carried out for further testing.