Skip to Content
Home > Wellness > Health Library > Medical History and Physical Exam for Dementia or Alzheimer's Disease
A person's medical history and a physical exam are important parts of the evaluation
when the person has symptoms of
dementia or Alzheimer's disease.
The doctor will ask questions during a medical history to assess a person's past and current overall health and to find out how well the person functions.
This process may be complicated if the person isn't able to remember important parts of his or her medical history or isn't aware of the memory loss. A family member can be very helpful in providing information about
the person's symptoms, such as when the symptoms were first noticed, how
quickly they developed, and whether they have continued to get worse.
Other important information in a
medical history includes:
The doctor will do a complete physical exam to look for conditions that could cause dementia. He or she also will assess risk factors for dementia, such as alcohol use and heart disease.
The person will also have a complete neurological exam to look for signs of a stroke, such as trouble speaking, hearing, or moving.
The doctor will ask about a change in the person's ability to perform daily tasks. The person or relative may be asked whether the person can:
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerAnne C. Poinier, MD - Internal MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerMyron F. Weiner, MD - Psychiatry, Neurology
Current as ofNovember 14, 2014
Current as of:
November 14, 2014
Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine & Myron F. Weiner, MD - Psychiatry, Neurology
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2015 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.