Alzheimer's Disease - Exams and Tests
In some cases, examining the brain after death (autopsy) is done to look for changes in the brain that
may show Alzheimer's disease. An autopsy is the only definite way to diagnose
Alzheimer's disease, but the illness may not be clearly identified if the
autopsy is performed when someone dies during the early stages of the illness.
An autopsy is rarely needed, but one may be done if the family wants to confirm
that the person had Alzheimer's disease.
At this time, there is no routine screening for
Alzheimer's disease. It is difficult to diagnose Alzheimer's disease in its
early stages. This does not mean that you should ignore symptoms of mental
decline (dementia) or assume that they are a normal part of aging. Talk to your
doctor if you are concerned about memory loss or other
symptoms of dementia, such as having difficulty
finding your way around familiar places.