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Diagnosing Dementia

It is very important to get a proper diagnosis. A diagnosis will help the doctor rule out any illnesses that might have similar symptoms to dementia, including depression. Having a diagnosis may also mean it is possible to be prescribed drugs for Alzheimer's disease. Whether you’re someone with dementia or a carer, a diagnosis can help you prepare and plan for the future.

Dementia can be diagnosed by a doctor, either a GP or a specialist. The specialist may be a geriatrician (a doctor specialising in the care of older people), a neurologist (someone who concentrates on diseases of the nervous system) or a psychiatrist (a mental health specialist). The doctor may carry out a number of tests. These are designed to test the person's memory and their ability to perform daily tasks.