Is there a test for dementia

dementia

Diagnosis of dementia: who should you contact if you suspect dementia?

Basically, the first point of contact is the family doctor and that should be the case. The family doctor, who is sensitized, examines himself. There are many general practitioners who do short tests themselves, and the normal way is: the patient goes to the general practitioner and the general practitioner refers the patient to a specialist who then does diagnostics.

If the symptoms are very mild, so that in everyday life, when we talk to a person who talks about his forgetfulness, we cannot understand it at all and think: 'Well, he actually looks very fit and completely normal', then we have to one examine in more detail. And that exceeds the repertoire that is usually found in the specialist practice
is held up. Memory clinics are ideal for this.

What examinations are made?

The most important investigation that needs to be done is what is called
neuropsychological testing. That is, memory, attention, language and various other higher brain functions are examined. These are tests that have to be filled out with a pen or on the computer, e.g. B. Reaction Tests.

If the disease is advanced, that is, the patient can no longer find the way or is no longer oriented or no longer recognizes his relatives, dementia can also be diagnosed through simpler tests.

What is a quick test for pronounced symptoms?

Simpler examinations would be to do a quick test. In a short test, three words are given, 'car, flower, candle', then a small arithmetic problem - you have to subtract seven from 100 to 65 downwards. This is a little bit of attention, keeping the thread, checking the concentration and after the patients have calculated, the question is: 'I just told you or you repeated three words to me, what were they called? And the patients who have a clearer expression can never remember these three words. This is not enough for slightly affected patients.

What does a detailed memory test look like?

A detailed memory test that we do in the memory clinic is that you have to learn 15 words, five times in a row and that afterwards a second word list is learned, also with 15 words and that afterwards - after another 20 minutes - again after the first word list is asked. And that is a very fine test where you can see exactly what the ability to store new information is like.

Which further examinations are useful?

For example, we need a picture of the brain, i.e. a CT scan or magnetic resonance imaging, to
to make sure it's not a tumor or something rare, an inflammation that we couldn't foresee and that makes the symptoms look just like dementia.

A cooperation between the Center for Quality in Nursing and the Health Knowledge Foundation.