6 Tests for Early Detection of Alzheimer’s


Generally speaking, most cases of Alzheimer’s disease are detected once the disease symptoms start to show. However, by this point, the disease is fairly far along. Early detection allows for possible experimental treatments to slow the progression. It also allows the patient to plan ahead, decide what they want to happen with their treatment, who they’d like to care for them, and make other important decisions.

6 Tests That Can Be Used for Early Detection of Alzheimer’s

Checking for Alzheimer’s disease as early as possible provides you with a range of medical benefits, and helps you with a better chance of benefiting from treatment. It is important to check with your doctor if you have any genetic history of Alzheimer’s. If you suspect that you are at risk of developing Alzheimer’s, here are 6 tests for early detection.

1. Brain Scan

A brain affected by Alzheimer’s has very clear differences from that of a healthy brain. MRIs can show any potential damage done in the early stages, like inflammation. It can also show the level of proteins, well before symptoms begin to show.

2. Cerebrospinal Fluid Proteins 

A spinal tap would be performed to measure the amount of tau and beta-amyloid in the fluid, but as of now, there is no set standard on how this is measured, and differs between institutions.

3. Gene Risk Profiling

There are currently 3 different genes with rare variations that are associated with Alzheimer’s. However, more research is needed to develop a conclusive standard.

4. Blood Proteins 

A simple blood test that could tell us anything about Alzheimer’s would be huge. Testing during an annual physical could increase the amount of early detection to unimaginable levels. Scientists are currently working on this in clinical trials.

5. Changes in Impairment

If someone experiences mild impairment as they age, it’s not necessarily a sign of Alzheimer’s or dementia, but it could be and researchers are trying to study the changes in the body associated with this.

6. Biomarkers

Biological markers could potentially determine the level of risk associated with a patient and how likely they are to suffer from this disease. This could be done through measuring the proteins associated with Alzheimer’s in the cerebrospinal fluid.

Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care in Oakbrook Terrace, IL

We are an Alzheimer’s care community in Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois that specializes in caring for individuals living with Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia. If you believe your family member is displaying signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, give our staff a call by phone at 630-793-0753. The dementia care professionals at our dementia care facility are happy to talk with you about the ordinary signs of Alzheimer’s disease and ways to respond.

Natalie Pic

Meet the Author


Natalie has compiled over eighteen years experience providing outstanding care to people with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. In addition to being a certified Alzheimer’s and dementia care trainer, McFarland is a licensed continued education instructor for nurses and social workers through the Illinois Department of Professional Regulations. She has also developed several Alzheimer’s research partnerships. Included in those projects were Dr. Virginia Cruz, Ph.D., RN, Associate Professor of SIUE and Dr. George Grossberg, M.D., Medical Director of the Department of Psychiatry and Neurology at Saint Louis University. Natalie is a graduate of Southern Illinois University.