Causes and Diagnoses

Causes and Diagnoses of Frontotemporal Dementia

The absolute diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease can only be made at autopsy. However, physicians at specialized centers can diagnose Alzheimer's disease with 90 percent certainty based on clinical information. To make the diagnosis the following may need to be conducted:
  • A medical history and neurological exam 
  • Neuropsychological testing - Neuropsychological testing involves a careful analysis of a person's memory, problem solving, language, attention, and visuospatial ability. 
  • Basic blood tests - Blood tests may be used to help exclude other causes of memory difficulties. For example, a person with a thyroid disorder or a vitamin deficiency may have problems with his or her memory. 
  • Brain scans - A brain scan such as an MRI or a CT scan may need to be done in certain patients to detect brain tumors or strokes. These disorders may cause memory problems.