Who should I go to if I suspect Alzheimer's disease?
Your family doctor can suspect Alzheimer's disease or other dementia, but they may not be qualified to diagnose the disease. Therefore, they can request that you see a specialist.
Usually, Alzheimer's disease is best diagnosed by a neurologist experienced in the disease diagnosis. Geriatricians can help diagnose Alzheimer's due to their specialty in conditions that affect the elderly.
A psychologist or psychiatrist may be useful to rule out certain conditions that can mimic Alzheimer's disease, such as depression. Therefore, the diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease is usually one of exclusion.
When all possible organic causes of learning and memory problems have been ruled out and all the tests are compatible with possible Alzheimer's disease, a diagnosis is made.
Sometimes before the diagnostic process is completed, especially in very mild or initial stages of dementia, the diagnosis cannot be made accurately. In a few cases, the entire diagnostic period can last a relatively long time.