During a mental health assessment to determine dementia, physicians ask patients to determine the day and year, count backward from 100 and repeat a series of words to test memory, according to WebMD. Questions may also inquire about medical history, injuries that could lead to memory loss and mental health.Continue Reading
To diagnose dementia or the severity of memory loss, physicians ask questions to evaluate a patient's orientation, attention, memory and language skills, explains WebMD. For example, the physician may ask the patient to name objects, recall experiences and define general terms to distinguish frontotemporal dementia from Alzheimer's disease. The Addenbrooke's Cognitive Examination is a common mental health evaluator used to diagnose dementia patients.
To rule out physical conditions that may be causing symptoms of dementia, physicians may also ask about recent injuries, diseases, ailments or physical symptoms, notes WebMD. Drug and medication interactions can cause symptoms associated with dementia, such as memory loss or confusion. Lab tests to check thyroid hormones, vitamin deficiencies, liver function, glucose levels and toxicology may also be performed to rule out conditions causing symptoms of dementia. Physicians may ask patients about family medical history to determine potential hereditary risks and perform an MRI or brain scan to assess neurological function.Learn more about Diagnostics & Imaging