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What is a Dementia Test?

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  • Written By: Christine Hudson
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 14 September 2016
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Dementia tests are commonly conducted to check for the presence of dementia in patients. This is a serious disease which generally results in the decline of cognitive function in a person’s body due to disease or damage. One of the simplest ways to detect and diagnose dementia early is by conducting a dementia test to judge whether there is a deterioration in cognitive ability. These tests are very simple in nature and are done mostly by asking the patient a series of questions. Along with questions, some tests may include physical examinations and scans—then, doctors make recommendations to the patients after returning the results.

A dementia test is usually conducted by a medical professional on patients who are suffering from memory loss. Doctors and other health care providers use these tests to determine whether their patients are suffering from dementia or from some other affliction. The main objective of these tests is to provide adequate treatment to the patients before their condition becomes worse. This test is also performed to exclude any treatable circumstances like normal pressure hydrocephalus, vitamin b12 deficiency or chronic subdural hematoma.

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Even though most types of a dementia test are done in medical health centers, a person may also be able to conduct simple tests in his or her home if recommended by a doctor. Each kind of dementia test has a specific goal or function in diagnosis. Some of the most commonly practiced tests are brain pattern tests, psychiatric evaluations and neuropsychological cognitive dementia tests. The type of test prescribed to the patient depends on a wide range of factors that include symptoms and severity.

Preliminary tests may consist of three to five minutes of basic questions and clock-drawing exercises. These are designed to gauge the patient’s short-term memory and basic recall skills. If there is still question after this type of dementia test, a longer test may be administere, which measures recall and short memory as well as logic and other aspects of cognitive thought.

Many doctors use a wide range of principles when analyzing the results of a dementia test. This includes analyzing the math skills, language skills and mental functions of the patient as well as reviewing the results of brain scans. People affected by dementia often show a deteriorating skill in problem solving, performance and memory. Most medical professionals use a test called the Mini Mental State examination to check for the presence of dementia in their patients. This test is designed to find the orientation, memory and attention skills of each patient.

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