Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Can you diagnose Alzheimer's from a urine test?"
I'm a candidate for Alzheimer's disease, so I'm very good about seeing my doctor and checking in regularly. Last month for the first time (I'm 50) he asked me to give a urine sample to test it for Alzheimer's signs. How certain can he be of a diagnosis based on this test?
Alzheimer's is a degenerative brain condition which is the leading cause of dementia in the world. The condition leads to progressive loss of cognitive function, coupled with loss of ability to function well socially, loss of independence, and loss of ability to perform basic personal care tasks. There is no cure for Alzheimer's disease. Currently Alzheimer's is diagnosed clinically. This means that there is no imaging test, urine test, or blood test that is helpful in diagnosing Alzheimer's. Many times, if your doctor suspects Alzheimer's disease they will first perform a whole series of lab tests to rule out other reversible causes of dementia, such as syphilis, vitamin deficiencies, and thyroid disease. Urine tests may be part of this rule-out work up. As always the diagnosis and the management of your particular concerns will require a physical examination by your personal physician. Setting up an office visit with your primary care doctor to discuss your concerns is advised.
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