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My mother's primary doctor, and then her neurologist, have only used the terms 'dementia' and 'cognitive impairment' as her diagnoses. They aren't focused on determining the specific type of dementia, or what stage it is. I'm ok with this for now. Getting her officially diagnosed with dementia was important to me in order to begin taking over certain responsibilities for her, but the particulars don't seem necessary for my mother's care at this time. (If things change, then I'll follow up w/the doctors.)
What is the importance of the diagnosis -- or lack of one -- for you?

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Thanks, Pam. I'm sure her healthcare insurance co. (Kaiser Permanente) doesn't routinely do all the testing. She's had bloodwork, cognitive tests, and I believe a CAT scan, so her diagnosis is certainly correct, just no particulars. Also, I keep reading that Alzheimer's is really only diagnosable after death. It surprises me a bit to read that patients have been diagnosed with a certain type, and are presently in a certain stage.
In the media, they seem to use Alzheimer's almost as a synonym for dementia. And you NEVER seem to hear the word 'senile' anymore, for some reason.
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Proper diagnosis is not done by a primary, but by a specialist in aging with brain imaging, bloodwork, cognitive and eeg testing.
The tests are expensive and the patients often balk at the cost.
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