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Do dementias always end up visible on a scan, or not?
looking4relief
Posted: Thursday, August 12, 2021 7:03 AM
Joined: 11/27/2019
Posts: 65


Or it's the connections that no longer work but everything stays in place? Can you help me understand which types of dementia are visible on scans and which ones aren't? It puzzles me.
Michael Ellenbogen
Posted: Thursday, August 12, 2021 7:12 AM
Joined: 11/30/2011
Posts: 3902


It can all be different for many people. No one size fits all. It also matters how far you are into it. 


looking4relief
Posted: Thursday, August 12, 2021 8:47 AM
Joined: 11/27/2019
Posts: 65


I Would have an other question too.. is it complicated to make an appointment with a neurologist in the North East of US? Is it self referred or with a referral? A state where it's easier to have access to those services than an other? (And yes, I'm guessing it's expensive)
Michael Ellenbogen
Posted: Thursday, August 12, 2021 8:55 AM
Joined: 11/30/2011
Posts: 3902


It depends on where you are in the state? It can take 2 -6 months some times. With covid it may take even longer. The key is not to talk about it but to do it ASAP if you have already had all of the other test with the primary. I don’t know your story so I can not tell you more. It also matters on who you know. I was able to get to one in just a few weeks because I know folks.


Iris L.
Posted: Thursday, August 12, 2021 3:41 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 17439


The diagnosis of dementia is made only after ruling out medical and other causes that mimic dementia.  No one test will indicate dementia.  

 

The doctor has to do multiple tests and consider the patient's history and neurocognitive examination and then come up with a diagnosis.  It will take some time.  

 

Scans such as an MRI are to look for signs of a stroke or a brain tumor.  

 

Usually you start with your regular doctor, who can order blood tests and do a mini mental status exam.  Then that doctor can refer you to a neurologist who specializes in diagnosing the dementias.  

 

Most tests are covered by medical insurance, but that depends upon the person.

 

Iris


looking4relief
Posted: Friday, August 13, 2021 7:04 AM
Joined: 11/27/2019
Posts: 65


I am given wrong information sometimes, like if we don't see it on a scan, it will all be back to normal eventually and what is causing your problems will go away. I get pretty hopeful and then realise it's not how things happen in reality. Maybe it's true for a lot of people. They get weird symptoms, no one knows what it is, and then 6 months later they get back to their normal self..