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How will I get diagnosed for early-onset Alzheimer's disease?

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There's isn't a single test that confirms you have early-onset Alzheimer's. But there are several ways your doctor checks to see if you have it.

First, he'll ask you about your medical history, including any symptoms that are bothering you now. You'll also take tests that check your memory and see how well you solve problems.

You may also get imaging tests that look for changes in your brain and can help rule out other causes of your symptoms. They may include a CT scan, which is a powerful X-ray that makes detailed pictures inside your body. Or you might get an MRI, which uses magnets and radio waves to create images.

Your doctor may also suggest tests that look for changes in genes that are linked to early-onset Alzheimer's.

SOURCES:

Alzheimer's Association: "10 Early Signs and Symptoms of Alzheimer's," "Alzheimer's changes the whole brain," "Diagnosis of Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia," "Down Syndrome and Alzheimer's Disease," "If you have younger-onset Alzheimer's," "Risk Factors," "The Search for Alzheimer’s Causes and Risk Factors," "Treatments for Alzheimer's Disease," "Treatments for Sleep Disturbances," "Younger/Early Onset Alzheimer's & Dementia."

Cleveland Clinic: "Living with early-onset."

Keith N. Fargo, PhD, Alzheimer's Association, Chicago.

Johns Hopkins Medicine: "Early-Onset Alzheimer's Disease."

Richard Lipton, MD, Montefiore Medical Center and Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York City.

National Institute on Aging: "About Alzheimer's Disease: Causes," "Alzheimer's Disease: Unraveling the Mystery."

News release, FDA.

Reviewed by Neil Lava on May 5, 2019

SOURCES:

Alzheimer's Association: "10 Early Signs and Symptoms of Alzheimer's," "Alzheimer's changes the whole brain," "Diagnosis of Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia," "Down Syndrome and Alzheimer's Disease," "If you have younger-onset Alzheimer's," "Risk Factors," "The Search for Alzheimer’s Causes and Risk Factors," "Treatments for Alzheimer's Disease," "Treatments for Sleep Disturbances," "Younger/Early Onset Alzheimer's & Dementia."

Cleveland Clinic: "Living with early-onset."

Keith N. Fargo, PhD, Alzheimer's Association, Chicago.

Johns Hopkins Medicine: "Early-Onset Alzheimer's Disease."

Richard Lipton, MD, Montefiore Medical Center and Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York City.

National Institute on Aging: "About Alzheimer's Disease: Causes," "Alzheimer's Disease: Unraveling the Mystery."

News release, FDA.

Reviewed by Neil Lava on May 5, 2019

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