An early diagnosis helps families plan for the future

To help families with the assessment the Alzheimer Society has also produced a new brochure titled Getting A Diagnosis Finding Out If It Is Alzheimer Disease This brochure prepares families for the doctor appointment what to expect questions to ask and information to bring along

A diagnosis can be made in a family doctors office a memory clinic a hospital or in the community

The assessment can include some or all of the following a detailed medical history physical exam mental status exam lab tests psychiatric and psychological evaluations brain scans

This testing helps determine whether the dementia symptoms are being caused by an illness that may be treatable such as depression thyroid disease heart disease infection or by Alzheimers disease

quotWhere the dementia is caused by a reversible condition the earlier you detect it the more chance you have of reversing itquot says Dr Howard Bergman a geriatrician and Director of Montreals Jewish General HospitalMcGill University Memory Clinic Dr Bergman is one of a group of dementia experts developing guidelines to help family physicians recognize assess and manage Alzheimers disease

quotThe family physician is the key person in all of this because the patient or family members are going to approach him or her first with their concernsquot says Dr Michael Cooper a geriatric psychiatrist who performs memory loss assessment at the Penticton Regional Hospital in British Columbia quotIf an early diagnosis of Alzheimers disease can be obtained it allows families to start planning for the futurediscussing financial arrangements living arrangements making sure that they have the necessary support servicesquot This support includes current information on the disease help from the Alzheimer Society and the consideration of treatment options

The first Alzheimer medication to treat symptoms of the disease is already on the Canadian market Other drugs are in various stages of testing and may soon be available quotIf Alzheimer medication can lead to a better quality of lifequot says Dr Cooper quotthen doctors will want to discuss it with patients and their families at an early stagequot

Once a person has been diagnosed it is important to involve the family Dr Gorman and her team sometimes find it necessary to hold a family conference

quotWe may bring in a social worker physiotherapist occupational therapist and nurse We meet the family and explain what dementia means where the person is in terms of that diagnosis and why we think its Alzheimers disease and not something else It helps relieve the tremendous anxiety about the diagnosis and what to do about providing carequot

Families also learn about the wealth of services the Alzheimer Society provides Services like support groups for people with Alzheimers disease and their caregivers individual counselling information resources and community referrals

Date : 14 Dec, 2007
Reference : www.alzheimer.ca

Back to Article
Featured Hospitals Listing
St. Stephen's Hospital
St. Stephen's Hospital Marg Tis Hazari Delhi Delhi (India)
Phone : 23966021 - 27
Email : mail@ststephenshospital.org
Website URL : Available