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Doctors may use a variety of laboratory tests to help diagnose dementia and/or rule out other conditions, such as vitamin defeciency or hormone balance, that can contribute to symptoms. A partial list of these tests includes a complete blood count, blood glucose test, urinalysis, drug and alcohol tests (toxicology screen), cerebrospinal fluid analysis (to rule out specific infections that can affect the brain), and analysis of thyroid and thyroid-stimulating hormone levels. A doctor will order only the tests that he or she feels are necessary and/or likely to improve the accuracy of a diagnosis.
A partial list of these tests includes B12 level and analysis of thyroid and thyroid-stimulating hormone levels. Blood counts, tests for kidney, liver, or blood glucose problems, drug and alcohol tests (toxicology screen), tests for certain infections known to cause dementia, such as HIV and syphilis, and other tests may be ordered as appropriate for a patient’s specific situation. Sometimes, a lumbar puncture (spinal tap) may be performed to obtain cerebrospinal fluid, which is then analyzed for evidence of Alzheimer’s disease proteins or of certain infections, inflammatory conditions, or other diseases that may cause dementia. A doctor will order only the tests that he or she feels are necessary and/or likely to improve the accuracy of a diagnosis.
Clinical trials are research studies that evaluate a new medical approach, device, drug, or other treatment. As a Stanford Health Care patient, you may have access to the latest, advanced clinical trials.
Open trials refer to studies currently accepting participants. Closed trials are not currently enrolling, but may open in the future.