During a medical examination, the doctor would go through your medical history. During a dementia assessment, patients are encouraged to be present with a caregiver or family member. They can also provide useful information such as changes or problems that the patient has experienced.
Information that the doctor will note includes but are not limited to the following:
- When and how the symptoms started
- If the symptoms affect your daily life
- Existing medical conditions (e.g. diabetes, hypertension, stroke, depression)
- Review of medications that you might be taking, including traditional medicines and supplements (e.g. vitamins)
Tests for Mental Ability
Several different tests, also known as cognitive assessments, are used to check memory and thinking. Most tests involve a series of pen-and-paper tests and questions that each carry a score.
Specifically, several mental abilities in the tests include:
- Short- and long-term memory
- Concentration and attention span
- Language and communication skills
- Awareness of time and place (Orientation)
During a psychiatric evaluation, the doctor would be able to determine whether depression or other mental health condition is the cause of the symptoms that are confused with dementia. This is also done to rule out other possible conditions.