Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Alzheimer's Disease Health Center

Font Size
A
A
A

Medical History and Alzheimer's Disease

A person's medical history is an important part of the evaluation when the person has symptoms of dementia.

A family member can be very helpful in providing information about the person's symptoms, such as when the symptoms were first noticed, how quickly they developed, and whether they have continued to get worse.

Recommended Related to Alzheimer's

Understanding Alzheimer's Disease -- Symptoms

The symptoms of Alzheimer's disease often come on gradually. They then typically progress over several years to the point of causing major impairment. Alzheimer's can be divided into mild, moderate, or severe stages. Each stage has a separate set of symptoms. But symptoms can vary from person to person. And the length of each stage can also vary.

Read the Understanding Alzheimer's Disease -- Symptoms article > >

Other information important to the health professional taking the medical history includes:

  • Other medical problems the person has had, such as stroke, Parkinson's disease, HIV infection, depression, head injury, heart disease, or lipid disorders (problems with cholesterol levels).
  • Whether there is a history of Alzheimer's disease or dementia in the family.
  • The person's family, social, cultural, and educational background, as well as any recent unusual events in the person's life. These factors can influence how a person performs on a mental status test, and some experts believe that they may affect the risk of dementia.
  • What medications the person is taking. Some medications can contribute to memory loss or mental impairment. This side effect of certain drugs is an easy problem to correct but is often overlooked as the cause of symptoms.
  • History of alcohol or drug abuse.
By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Peter J. Whitehouse, MD - Neurology
Last Revised November 9, 2010

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: November 09, 2010
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

Today on WebMD

alzheimer's disease warning signs
ARTICLE
Alzheimers Overview
SLIDESHOW
 
Best Memory Boosting Games
ARTICLE
Alzheimers Dementia
ARTICLE
 
daughter and father
ARTICLE
senior man
ARTICLE
 
Making Diagnosis
Article
caregiver
ARTICLE
 
Woman comforting ailing mother
ARTICLE
mri scan of human brain
QUIZ
 
senior woman with lost expression
ARTICLE
Antioxidants Memory
ARTICLE