True or False – Alzheimer’s and dementia are the same thing? Actually, Alzheimer’s disease is a form of dementia and is characterized by decreasing intellectual and social abilities, so this answer would be false.

Many times, someone may suspect their loved one is showing signs of Alzheimer’s but doesn’t know how to determine if they actually have the condition. No single test identifies Alzheimer’s disease so physicians use several methods to determine a diagnosis. Lab tests help rule out other disorders that may produce similar symptoms. Neurological and mental-status tests reveal cognitive-function deficits. Physicians will use several methods to determine a diagnosis.

Ginny Davis is the community relations coordinator for SpiriTrust Lutheran Home Care & Hospice. Call 800-840-9081 for more information about services available or visit www.spiritrustlutheranhc.org.

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