A person's medical history is an important part of the evaluation
when the person has symptoms of
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.
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.
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
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
History of alcohol or drug abuse.
Primary Medical Reviewer
Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer
Peter J. Whitehouse, MD - Neurology
November 9, 2010
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
November 09, 2010
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