These tests are used to diagnose AD or to rule out other medical conditions:
- Mental status testing - measures how great a decline in mental functioning (orientation, memory, language skills) exists
- Neuropsychological testing - assesses mood, thinking and personality
- Magnetic resonance (MR) scan of the brain
- Blood tests - blood counts, vitamin levels, liver and kidney function, mineral balance and thyroid gland function tests
- Positron emission tomography (PET) metabolic or amyloid scanning in some patients
Brain imaging helps to diagnose and understand Alzheimer's disease. For instance:
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can show brain shrinkage (atrophy).
- FDG PET scans can show lower brain metabolism. (FDG is the tracer molecule used to show how well your tissues and organs are working.)
- Amyloid PET scans show higher levels of amyloid protein in the brain.