There is no single diagnostic test that can diagnose Alzheimer's disease. The process involves several tests and may take more than a day. These tests make it possible to diagnosis Alzheimer's with an accuracy of about 90 percent.
There are two abnormal structures in the brain associated with Alzheimer's disease — amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles:
Research has provided clues about why the neuron cells die, but scientists have not identified the role plaques and tangles play in the disease and if they're the key factors.
At the UCSF Memory and Aging Center, an assessment will involve neurologists, radiologists, pharmacists, nurses and other health professionals. The evaluation may include a series of test to measure memory, reasoning, vision-motor coordination and language skills. In addition, the evaluation may include:
Physical Exam — The patient's nutritional status, blood pressure and pulse will be assessed. Tests of sensation, balance and other functions of the nervous system also will be conducted.
Reviewed by health care specialists at UCSF Medical Center.