Return to Index
Screening for Alzheimers Disease
The purpose of screening is early diagnosis and treatment. Screening tests are usually done for people without any current symptoms, but who may be at high risk for certain diseases or conditions.
Screening Tests or Guidelines
There are several tests that doctors may use to screen for Alzheimers disease. Examples include:
- Neurological exam—to test the nervous system (brain, spinal cord, nerves, and muscles) for evidence of other neurological disorders
- Wechsler's Logical Memory and Visual Reproduction and Kendrick Object Learning Test—may be used if you have symptoms of depression
- Seven-Minute Screen
- Mini-Mental State Exam
- Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA)
- Memory Impairment Screening
- Self-assessment cognitive test—this is a test that you take on your own to assess your memory
Genetic testing is available, but it is not routinely used in most people. It may be done in those with a family history of early-onset Alzheimers. Researchers are also studying whether specialized imaging tests would be helpful in screening for Alzheimers disease. Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) evaluation via a lumbar puncture may play a role in the diagnosis of Alzheimers disease.
10 early signs and symptoms of Alzheimer's. Alzheimer’s Association website. Available at: http://www.alz.org/alzheimers%5Fdisease%5F10%5Fsigns%5Fof%5Falzheimers.asp. Accessed September 6, 2013.
Alzheimer dementia. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated August 19, 2013. Accessed September 6, 2013.
Alzheimer's disease medications fact sheet. National Institute on Aging website. Available at: http://www.nia.nih.gov/Alzheimers/Publications/medicationsfs.htm. Updated July 22, 2013. Accessed September 6, 2013.
Drago V, Babiloni C, Bartres-Faz D, et al. Disease tracking markers for Alzheimer’s disease at the prodromal (MCI) stage. J Alzhemier’s Dis. 2011;26 Suppl 3:159-199.
Hampel H, Frank R, Broich K, et al. Biomarkers for Alzheimer’s disease: academic, industry and regulatory perspectives. Nat Rev Drug Discov. 2010;9(7):560-574.
Roalf DR, Moberg PJ, Xie SX, et al. Comparative accuracies of two common screening instruments for classification of Alzheimer’s disease, mild cognitive impairment, and healthy aging. Alzheimers Dement. 2012;9(5):529-537.
Wolk DA, Klunk W. Update on amyloid imaging: from healthy aging to Alzheimer's disease. Curr Neurol Neurosci Rep. 2009;9(5):345-352.
7/6/2009 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Brown J, Pengas G, et al. Self administered cognitive screening test (TYM) for detection of Alzheimer's disease: cross sectional study. BMJ. 2009;338:b2030.
- Reviewer: Rimas Lukas, MD
- Review Date: 08/2015
- Update Date: 09/17/2014