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Medical History and Physical Exam for Dementia or Alzheimer's Disease

Table of Contents


Overview

A person's medical history and a physical exam are important parts of the evaluation when the person has symptoms of dementia or Alzheimer's disease.

Medical history

The doctor will ask questions during a medical history to assess a person's past and current overall health and to find out how well the person functions.

This process may be complicated if the person isn't able to remember important parts of his or her medical history or isn't aware of the memory loss. 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.

Other important information in a medical history includes:

Physical exam

The doctor will do a complete physical exam to look for conditions that could cause dementia. He or she also will assess risk factors for dementia, such as alcohol use and heart disease.

The person will also have a complete neurological exam to look for signs of a stroke, such as trouble speaking, hearing, or moving.

Daily tasks

The doctor will ask about a change in the person's ability to perform daily tasks. The person or relative may be asked whether the person can:


Credits for Medical History and Physical Exam for Dementia or Alzheimer's Disease

Current as of: November 14, 2022

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Anne C. Poinier MD - Internal Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Myron F. Weiner MD - Psychiatry, Neurology


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