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Alzheimer's disease - Senile dementia/Alzheimer's type (SDAT)
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Alzheimer's disease - Senile dementia/Alzheimer's type (SDAT)

 

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BRAIN & NERVOUS SYSTEM

Degenerative Diseases

Signs and tests   

The first step in diagnosing Alzheimer's disease is to establish that dementia is present. Then, the type of dementia should be clarified. A health care provider will take a history, do a physical exam (including a neurological exam), and perform a mental status examination.

Tests may be ordered to help determine if there is a treatable condition that could be causing dementia or contributing to the confusion of AD. These conditions include thyroid disease, vitamin deficiency, brain tumor, drug and medication intoxication, chronic infection, anemia, and severe depression.

AD usually has a characteristic pattern of symptoms and can be diagnosed by history and physical exam by an experienced clinician. Tests that are often done to evaluate or exclude other causes of dementia include computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and blood tests.

In the early stages of dementia, brain image scans may be normal. In later stages, an MRI may show a decrease in the size of the cortex of the brain or of the area of the brain responsible for memory (the hippocampus). While the scans do not confirm the diagnosis of AD, they do exclude other causes of dementia (such as stroke and tumor).

Treatment measures

The Treatment measure followed are:-

Drugs generally used are

  • Cholinesterase inhibitors 

  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI's) 

  • Tricylic antidepressants 

  • Anxiolytics (short-acting) 

  • Benzodiazepines (short-acting)
     

Non-medicinal help is in the form of 

  • Memory-aids such as notebooks and posted daily reminders  

  • Pleasant family atmosphere and emotional support. 

  • Safe atmosphere in the house. 

  • Driving must be prohibited. 

  • Constant communication and repeated reassurance is necessary. 

  • Hospital admission may be necessary, in some cases.  

Associated factors/risk factors

 Major Risk Factors are

  • Advanced age. 

  • Positive family history of : Alzheimer's Disease, Other types of Dementia, Down's syndrome.

Alzheimer's disease > 1 > 2 > 3 > 4

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Disclaimer

This information is provided for general medical education purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the independent medical judgment of a physician relative to diagnostic and treatment options of a specific patient's medical condition.
In no event will The DrEddyClinic.com be liable for any decision made or action taken in reliance upon the information provided through this web site.

 


 



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Last Modified : 03/14/08 06:47 PM