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Imaging and diagnosis

WJG

Registered User
Sep 13, 2020
112
0
Because a CT scan showed genre generalised cortical atrophy I have had a SPECT scan - and as a result of this will be having neuro- psychological tests to refine a diagnosis. I understand that the SPECT scan shows damage in both parietal lobes. I'm told that this is consistent with early stages of dementia - possibly Alzheimers. I am now to have further neuropsychological tests.

I don't understand why a diagnosis can't be made directly from a SPECT scan? Surely this objectively shows which parts of my brain are affected, and therefore what sort of degenerative illness I have?

It feels like every test I have just qualifies me for a further test, with no one prepared to commit themselves to a diagnosis.
 
Last edited:

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
16,138
0
South coast
Im sorry you are having so many test @WJG , unfortunately it is not always straightforward, especially if you turn out to have one of the more rare types of dementia.

The thing is that the findings on a scan do not always reflect how you are being affected. Sometimes you can have a lot of problems, but very little showing on the scans and sometimes you can have very little in the way of problems even though the scans show a lot of damage. For this reason, the doctors like to do both scan and cognitive testing.

Usually they start with a Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE), or the ACE test plus an MRI and usually this is enough. Sometimes, though it isnt. My OH can ace the MMSE and the ACE test, so he had neuropsychology testing instead - and it showed up problems which didnt show up on other cognitive tests. Its the same with the MRI - sometimes it doesnt show any problems, but if you have a SPECT scan it does show problems.

Im sure your testing will come to an end soon, just hang in there
xx
 

WJG

Registered User
Sep 13, 2020
112
0
Im sorry you are having so many test @WJG , unfortunately it is not always straightforward, especially if you turn out to have one of the more rare types of dementia.

The thing is that the findings on a scan do not always reflect how you are being affected. Sometimes you can have a lot of problems, but very little showing on the scans and sometimes you can have very little in the way of problems even though the scans show a lot of damage. For this reason, the doctors like to do both scan and cognitive testing.

Usually they start with a Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE), or the ACE test plus an MRI and usually this is enough. Sometimes, though it isnt. My OH can ace the MMSE and the ACE test, so he had neuropsychology testing instead - and it showed up problems which didnt show up on other cognitive tests. Its the same with the MRI - sometimes it doesnt show any problems, but if you have a SPECT scan it does show problems.

Im sure your testing will come to an end soon, just hang in there
xx
Thankyou for this. I have also aced the standard cognitive tests. There seems to be a suggestion that I could have early stages Alzheimer's (as diagnosed from scans) but I have neither cognitive not memory impairment - rather I have personality changes - so I guess that I'm not fitting into a convenient box. I'm also finding it frustrating that I'm under the care of a mental health team who, of course, tend to view everything through the prism of mental health rather than though the lens of neuro degeneration.
 

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