At-home test may help diagnose Alzheimer’s

NEW TEST TO DIAGNOSE ALZHEIMER’S.  4 pg test, with written questions to answer and drawings.


While this article brings up another new tool the doctor can use to prompt himself to ask a wide range of questions in the interview it is not new.   A doctor always uses interview questions coupled with history and medical exam to narrow down all causes of cognitive loss so I am not sure how new this is.

Alzheimer’s is very difficult to diagnoses as a single pure entity and in fact most often Alzheimer’s overlaps a lot with many other things like Dementia, Parkinson’s, Neurological issues, wide based gait, and cns vascular disease to name some.  Indeed, aging and benign forgetfulness also is in there to complicate the diagnosis and all the life causes of poor mood as one ages and declines in function.  In fact, a depressed mood in many ways is “normal” when faced with the end of life and loss of your friends, own abilities, and prospects for the future.  To call all of this Alzheimer’s or anything to me is misleading and instead I would prefer we focus on the treatment of having the best, most consistent, care team possible to deal with all chronically ill people no matter what the label.

I am also not sure how they will treat cognitive loss differently from how they do today if you find it.  The current meds Aricept, Namenda, Exelon are hit or miss at best.


The one treatment that works for all humans is caring and relationship building with the best care team you can find.  If you jump from one doctor to the next or the doctors don’t feel invested enough to stick with you as their / your treatment ideas are implemented and evolve you can imagine the care might be disjointed, incomplete and there by less effective.

Medicine is a process of trying various treatments and then following closely the response and adjusting those treatments.  People change, treatments change or evolve, and emotional health is all about relationships so that is the best and most cost effective treatment for all chronic disease and Alzheimer’s disease.

If you have a personal care team with a team leader or doctor who is active in sticking with you and willing to lead and make care decisions you can adjust to all diseases and emotional issues that arise.  Instead what we see is referral of the work and risk of the care and decision making to the next doctor.  In some ways that is kind of like warren buffets weapons of mass destruction and selling the toxic mortgages down the road to the next sucker but in this case we are hurting the humans and are passing along human suffering.  Homes are tangible products which in most cases are used and lived in and not decaying as a human being would which the service contract or mortgage is passed along.   In that case do not harm is the harm.  Being unwilling to make the diagnosis and try a treatment is more risky than not trying and just doing nothing or “no harm”.    You never know what will happen and what will change after you make the first choice of treatment to try that is why medicine is an art and clinical process and requires continuity of care and a steady relationship with the doctor to follow, adjust, and evolve your multiple level of treatments.  Even if your first treatment works you would not stop there but will add, adjust, modify treatment constantly.  There is no one flow sheet to follow.  All humans are complex beings and the choices in treatment are even more complex when you include the finance, social and emotional elements of those treatments.


Those who read my blog will recognize this quote that really sums up all medical and human caring:

“If you treat the disease you win or lose but if you treat the person you win NO MATTER WHAT THE OUTCOME.” Patch Adams, the movie Patch.

That last part is the key.  If the doctor and patient stick together, work together, in all care settings dealing with ALL PHYSICAL, MEDICAL, EMOTIONAL, SOCIAL, AND  COMPLEX OVERLAPPING LIFE ISSUES then you and those around you who care and are active in the care process are likely to feel  that they have made a difference and done the best possible in these difficult situations.  One might even say they feel good about whatever happens.


We all have the choice to choose our care setting and there by care team.  If you instead choose the insurance first then you really have no idea who or what care you will get.  Also if the doctor is the direct employee in practice of the insurance company and he has less or no expected interdependent relationship with the patient and their social system then it is likely both will act to protect themselves first and the care will be less consistent.  The patient might save money since that is all they can do and the doctor / representative of the insurance company might save time and pass the toxic risk / work of providing care, trying, making decisions to the next doctor.


We all can visit many care settings and choose the one we want to pay for.  If we have Medicaid or are on a government program we still can choose by visiting many providers of that care type and choosing one closest to our most frequent visitor and the best one.  We all need to make the time and take the time for this search when it comes.

I hope all are empowered by this.  You can choose!  All doctors and care settings are not the same.  Your control is by visiting many and choosing the best care team possible.  Indeed, in the end you might find it is cheaper to pay a fixed price than the bait and switch model of a relatively lower advertised cost for the room and then add ons for the care or assistance and medication management etc.

What do you think?  Share your views here.

Check out these fantastic Residential Care and Alzheimer’s Care Services.  Remember to consider all of these in your search for a care team since they all provide care –Residential care, Assisted Living, Home Care, Hospice Care, Dementia Care, Alzheimer’s Care, Memory Care and Nursing Homes all offer custodial care but what varies is the care team you choose when you choose any care setting.  Who is doing the day to day training, supervision, and support and hands-on management and who is doing the custodial care?   Look for the care team to get the best Assisted Living, Residential Care, Home Care, Retirement Community, Hospice Care, Dementia Care, Alzheimer’s Care and Memory Care in any care setting.  Look beyond the setting label and find out who you are getting before you buy.

Tender Loving Care Senior Residence


Tender Loving Care Senior Residential Care, Costa Brava  –

Educational video links

TLCSRLV youtube Channel.  Subscribe for free.

Assisted Living and Residential Care Home Video Tour.


Assisted Living and Residential Care Home Testimonial



Dr Shawn McGivney




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