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Alzheimer's Disease: How It’s Diagnosed

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CT Scan

In CT (computed tomography) a machine takes X-rays of your body from many different angles in a very short period of time. A computer turns the scans into a series of images that look like "slices" through the body. CT scans can show brain changes that are common in the later stages of Alzheimer's.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

MRI makes very clear pictures of your body using a large magnet, radio waves, and a computer. It can help doctors see if a tumor or a stroke has caused symptoms that look like Alzheimer’s. It also may help to show the brain changes that are linked to the disease.

Neuropsychological Testing

This studies the relationship between the brain and behavior. It helps in the diagnosis and treatment of conditions that affect thinking, emotion, and behavior, including Alzheimer’s.

Doctors give you these tests along with a thorough interview. They may also give you other tests to check memory, language, the ability to plan and reason, and the ability to change behavior.

Neuropsychological testing also can help the doctor and your family better understand the effect of a disorder on your everyday life.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Richard Senelick, MD on May 07, 2015
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