What Types of Questions Are Useful for Testing a Person for Dementia?


Quick Answer

A doctor testing a person for dementia should ask the patient to identify symptoms he has experienced, as well as their duration and consistency, notes Healthline. Factors that worsen or alleviate symptoms, limitations on activities, other conditions, family history and medications are other topics the doctor should broach.

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What Types of Questions Are Useful for Testing a Person for Dementia?
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Full Answer

Because dementia is a disorienting and frightening experience for many, patients should write down answers to likely questions when they go to the doctor so that confusion and emotion do not interfere with successful diagnosis. Making a list of symptoms, including starting times and most likely times of the day, is helpful. Noting the severity of symptoms, particularly whether they are progressively worsening over time, gives the doctor useful information, reports Healthline.

Family history plays a role with dementia, so noting any family members that have suffered from it in the past (as well as Parkinson's or Huntington's) is helpful as well. Thinking about any recent life changes or unusual sources of stress, as well as writing down any other conditions and listing prescription medications, all provide the doctor with useful information, according to Healthline.

Patients should also have questions of their own. Understanding what medication can and cannot do, whether their problems are likely to go away or worsen, and knowing the underlying causes for the symptoms all bring some structure to what is likely a confusing experience, as stated by Healthline.

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