Alzheimers1

Diagnostic tests for Alzheimer’s Disease: Pros and Cons

Dementia, which begins to impair a person’s cognition, memory, and behavior, is known as Alzheimer’s disease. Its symptoms are known to become progressively worse over time, eventually impairing the individual’s ability to perform their everyday tasks.

Age 

Developing Alzheimer’s is not part of the usual aging process. However, it is important to note that rising age poses the most significant risk factor. This is why a large portion of individuals with Alzheimer’s are known to be above the age of 65. Those below the age of 65 with Alzheimer’s are termed to have younger-onset Alzheimer’s or early-onset Alzheimer’s.

Alzheimer’s and Dementia

Research has found that out of a hundred cases of dementia, around sixty to eighty cases are accounted for by Alzheimer’s disease. Therefore, Alzheimer’s is known to play a significant role in causing dementia. This is why, amongst the masses, it is the most commonly used term for a loss in one’s cognitive abilities and a loss in memory. 

Stages of Alzheimer’s Disease

In the earlier stages of Alzheimer’s disease, the individual will begin to exhibit mild symptoms of memory loss. However, as time and age progress, that is, within late-stage Alzheimer’s, the individual will lose their capability to respond to stimuli in their environment and the ability to keep a conversation going. This is because the changes caused by Alzheimer’s at first manifest within the part of our brain that influences our learning ability. 

As it spreads through the other parts of the brain, the symptoms are known to become more severe. The symptoms then manifest in the form of changes in behavior and mood, paranoia regarding loved ones and caregivers, feeling confused about certain events, finding it difficult to speak, and more. 

Dementia is much more evident to those around the individual than to the individual themselves. Those with other symptoms of Alzheimer’s may also find it difficult to come to the conclusion that they might have a problem. This is why it is vital for those experiencing such symptoms to opt for a diagnostic test for Alzheimer’s Disease.

Diagnostic tests for Alzheimer’s Disease

There are several approaches to performing a diagnostic test for Alzheimer’s disease. The diagnostic tests allow the professional to identify one of the three possibilities in individuals who are experiencing memory loss: possible Alzheimer’s, probable Alzheimer’s, or some other issue that is causing the loss of memory. Here are some approaches used as diagnostic tests for Alzheimer’s disease.

  • Questioning the family or friends of the individual about changes in personality and behavior
  • Inspecting for any medical problems that may have persisted before.
  • Conducting tests for problem-solving, language, counting, and memory. 
  • Prescribing medical tests, which include a blood test and a urine test to look for other reasons behind the memory loss. 
  • Performing brain scans, such as magnetic resonance imaging, computed tomography, and even positron emission tomography. This, too, is done to identify any other possible causes of memory loss.

Pros 

It is incredibly important for anyone experiencing a loss of memory to opt for a diagnostic test for Alzheimer’s disease. Here are the pros and cons of diagnostic tests for Alzheimer’s disease.

Early Diagnosis

Diagnostic tests provide the individual and their family with the opportunity for early diagnosis. In the case of an early diagnosis that is accurate, the individual is then able to opt for early treatment. This allows them to preserve their ability to function on a daily basis for a period of time. 

An early diagnosis also allows the individual to plan for their future with their loved ones, address any possible issues regarding safety, familiarize themselves with living arrangements, deal with legal and financial affairs, and, most importantly, form a support network for their loved ones. These individuals can also then go on to take part in clinical trials that test emerging treatments and studies on Alzheimer’s disease.

Monitoring

By receiving a diagnosis through diagnostic tests for Alzheimer’s, the professionals are able to monitor the individual and how Alzheimer’s is progressing as time passes. They are also able to monitor the individual’s response to treatments and how effective they are in preserving the functionality and capabilities of the individual. 

Cons

The issue that arises when opting for the existing diagnostic tests for Alzheimer’s disease is that it isn’t as easy as it may seem for most people. 

Expensive

The existing methods of testing for Alzheimer’s, such as MRIs, CT scans, and PET scans, are incredibly expensive. So, in the case of those individuals who may not even end up having Alzheimer’s, the cost paid to go through the extensive diagnostic tests is quite significant.

Not Timely

The existing diagnostic tests are pretty extensive and consist of several different boxes to tick before a diagnosis can be given. This can lead to the diagnostic tests not detecting Alzheimer’s disease in time. Thus, they can cause a delay in the individual’s beginning treatment, which is costly.

Intrusive

Since blood tests and urine tests are part of the existing diagnostic tests for Alzheimer’s disease, they are also considered intrusive. This may cause those who find these tests uncomfortable to decide against getting a diagnostic test. They may also begin to put off going to the doctor due to the intrusive tests. Thus, the individual may lose the opportunity of receiving an early diagnosis and, thus, starting timely treatment.

Bottom Line

However, there is no need to feel overwhelmed or disheartened when thinking about all of the cons of opting to go for a diagnostic test for Alzheimer’s disease. These disadvantages can be offset by diagnostic tests developed by ADix, who has since rebranded as Cognes. It is a non-invasive, reliable, and valid test for Alzheimer’s disease.

This diagnostic test has been developed by utilizing techniques that include machine learning. Through the element of scalability, these techniques, and factoring in the recent scientific breakthrough, this diagnostic test has the ability to identify the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease in a timely and cost-efficient manner.