Dementia Testing (MCI Testing)

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Professional Help Is Available for Dementia

dementia testing

An estimated 55 million adults over the age of 65 are living with dementia from all over the world, and 10 million cases are added every year. Dementia is considered an umbrella term for a range of thinking disabilities, memory loss, and other medical conditions that affect a person’s daily life. 

The types of dementia include vascular dementia, Lewy body dementia, frontotemporal dementia, and mixed dementia. Psychiatrists often see Alzheimer’s disease as the most common cause of dementia, especially for seniors.

Dementia affects a person’s daily life due to declining functioning of the brain and nervous system. It affects cognitive skills, thinking, memory, comprehension, orientation, and other impacts on social, economic, and psychological attributes.

There is no single diagnostic dementia testing, so various medical assessments are necessary for an accurate diagnosis of the condition. These may include laboratory tests, cognitive tests, neurological tests, and physical examination.

Different Stages of Dementia That You Should Look Out For

Dementia symptoms may affect a person in different ways and it would depend on the pre-existing medical conditions and overall health of the patient. There are three different stages of dementia:

Early Stage

Signs of dementia may not be noticeable during the early stages due to the gradual development of the condition. The most common symptoms under this stage include the following:

  • Getting lost in familiar places
  • Being forgetful
  • Inability to track time

It is important to perform diagnostic tests, especially during this period to prevent further damage to the brain. Early detection can help families understand the condition and help them prepare for the future possibilities of caring for a loved one with dementia.

Middle Stage

Clearer signs of dementia are usually seen during the middle stage. Among the symptoms that may be present are the following:

  • Forgetful of familiar places and people’s names
  • Difficulty with communicating
  • Confusion even while at home
  • Behavioral changes 
  • Repeating questions

During the middle stage of dementia, a patient would also have difficulties expressing their thoughts and performing routine tasks. Engaging them in different activities all throughout the day can help reduce mood swings and can also help them create daily routines that they can look forward to every day.

Late Stage

During this stage, declining mental functions, increased dependence, and severe memory problems become more noticeable. Specifically, the common signs and symptoms include:

  • Difficulty in recognizing immediate family members and friends
  • Difficulty in walking
  • Needs assistance in personal care
  • Extreme behavioral changes and functions such as memory, reasoning, judgment, and recognition. However, MCI does not necessarily interfere with a person’s daily living activities such as dressing up, taking a bath, walking, etc. 

Causes of MCI include vitamin deficiencies, depression, sleeping disorders, diabetes, hypertension, and drug abuse.

On the contrary, dementia is a more severe impairment that usually depicts one or more impairments in cognitive functions. It usually affects a person’s social, professional, and personal daily routines. The causes of dementia can include Alzheimer’s disease, infections, immune disorders, vitamin and nutrient deficiencies, brain tumors, immune disorders, long-term high blood pressure, etc.

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Dementia Testing (MCI Testing)

How can MCI Testing help with diagnosis?

dementia testingA doctor can determine if you have mild cognitive impairment (MCI) based on your information and the results of MCI testing. The results of the MCI Screen would serve as a basis for assessing the current brain function of an individual to diagnose MCI.

The diagnosis of MCI is based on the following criteria:

  • You struggle with memory or another mental function. You might have problems with following directions, planning, memory, and making decisions. Your closest family or friends should be able to confirm this.
  • Your function has decreased over time. Your medical history shows that over time, your mental function has declined. A close friend or family member should confirm this change.
  • Your overall mental function and daily activities aren’t affected. As we examine your medical history we see your activities in daily life are not generally affected, but some symptoms can cause concern and inconvenience.
  • Mild impairment for your age and education level is revealed through mental status testing. Doctors often evaluate mental performance using a short test like the Short Test of Mental Status (MoCA), the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA), or the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE).
  • You are not suffering from dementia. Your symptoms, your mental status testing, and your medical records are not severe enough to be Alzheimer’s disease.

How does MCI Screening work?

MCI screening is a tool to check the mental health condition of an individual. This screening can be helpful for a mental health professional in diagnosing dementia since it measures the mental ability of a person. 

The MCI test would use a 10-word recall test using an electronic interface through a computer. Specifically, it can measure a person’s capabilities in memory, language, and judgment. 

The scoring and results will be automatically exported after the test, which can be used as a reference to diagnose dementia, MCI, and even other types of dementia like Alzheimer’s disease. The MCI Screen is a great diagnostic tool that has 99% accuracy to verify and check for early signs of dementia.

Get Accurate Dementia and MCI Testing With Us

If you’re concerned about your aging parents’ or grandparents’ sudden changes in behavior, it is always best to get them tested for dementia or MCI. Pacific Neuropsychiatric Specialists is always open to serve you, and we can help you find out if you or your loved ones are a candidate for dementia or MCI testing. 

Schedule a call now or visit our clinics near your area!

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