Screening and diagnosis
Alzheimer's disease and related dementias are progressive, degenerative diseases. Individuals or their family members may consult their family physician when they begin to notice symptoms such as loss of memory, judgment and reasoning, difficulty with day-to-day tasks and changes in communication abilities, mood and behaviour.
Early diagnosis is important. Symptoms of irreversible dementia can be similar to those of other conditions such as depression, thyroid or heart disease, infections, drug interactions or alcohol abuse. Finding out the cause of the symptoms can help people understand the source of the symptoms, get the proper care, treatment and support and plan for the future.
Physicians can refer people with dementia to First Link®, a program offered by some Alzheimer Societies that connects people with dementia to services and supports in their communities.
Canadian Family Physician Journal summarizes the services provided by the Alzheimer Society and discusses other supports and resources available for the management of people with dementia in an article in the December 2011 edition.
Alzheimer Society brochures for further reading
Some of the following brochures are written for health-care professionals and others are intended for individuals and their families.
Additional resources: Screening and diagnosis
Last Updated: 05/14/12