dementia, the doctor will ask questions during a
medical history to assess a person's past and current overall health. He or she
also will ask whether there is a family history of dementia or other illnesses.
The person being treated and often a close relative or partner will be asked
Current illnesses the person may have and
medicines the person takes. In some cases, illnesses or medicines can cause
confusion or other signs of dementia.
Past history of illness or
injury, such as cardiovascular disease, head injury, or mental illness such as
Change in a person's moods,
hallucinations, or unusual behavior (such as excessive lack of
Recent problems with forgetfulness.
The doctor also will ask about a change in the person's ability to
perform daily tasks. The person or relative may be asked whether the person
Bathe and dress himself or herself and use the
daily household tasks.
Take medicines on
Drive safely and get around in usually familiar
The process may be complicated if the person is not able to
remember important parts of his or her medical history. Also, a person who has
dementia may not be aware of memory loss, and sometimes family members are
unable to spot changes in a loved one's memory or overall mental status.
The doctor will do a complete physical exam to look for conditions
that could cause dementia. He or she also will assess risk factors for
dementia, such as alcohol use and heart disease.
The person will also have a complete neurological exam to look for
stroke, such as trouble speaking, hearing, or
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.