Can I Tell if My Memory Lapses are Alzheimer's?

Thursday, 08 Aug 2013 10:16 AM

By Peter Hibberd, M.D.

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Question: Is there a test I can take to see if I have Alzheimer's? I’m having trouble remembering things, like where I left the car keys. I’m only 56.
 
Dr. Hibberd's answer:
 
No. There is no commercially available blood test that reliably tests for Alzheimer's disease. But there are psychometric tests performed by a neuropsychologist that are available to help sort out organic from non-organic causes of memory loss.
 
You should see your doctor now for imaging and a workup for memory loss. Sometimes memory loss can be caused by a simple mineral or vitamin deficiency or toxicity — as in alcoholics with thiamine deficiency.
 
Other times it is related to endocrine or thyroid dysfunction, or an underlying medical or structural brain disorder. In any event, memory loss must be addressed early, since it is easier to prevent memory loss than to regain those brain functions once they’ve been lost.

ALERT:
5 Signs You’ll Get Alzheimer’s Disease

 

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