A definitive diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease (AD) requires histopathologic examination which is rarely done. What tests will the nurse expect to be ordered to rule out other disorders?


• While laboratory tests are not helpful in confirming a diagnosis of AD, some tests are indicated to exclude contributing secondary causes

• The DSM-5 recommends MRI of the brain to rule out cerebrovascular disease, chronic subdural hematoma, cerebral neoplasm, and regional brain atrophy suggesting dementia

• Positron emission tomography (PET) scan measures the metabolic activity of the cerebral cortex and may help confirm early diagnosis

• Computed tomography (CT) scan may show more brain atrophy than occurs in normal aging

• Vitamin B12 deficiency can cause reversible memory and attention problems

• Incorrect: Tensilon test confirms the diagnosis of myasthenia gravis

• Incorrect: Oral cholecystography confirms the presence of gallstones

Visit our website for other NCLEX topics now!