Who Is This Quiz For?

Below is a list of 10 questions designed for people who are concerned about memory loss. The questions relate to life experiences common among people who have been diagnosed with dementia, a neurocognitive disorder, and are based on criteria in the DSM-5 (OCD).

Please read each question carefully, and indicate how often you have experienced the same or similar challenges in the past few months.

How Accurate Is It?

This quiz is NOT a diagnostic tool. Mental health disorders can only be diagnosed by licensed healthcare professionals.

Psycom believes assessments can be a valuable first step toward getting treatment. All too often people stop short of seeking help out of fear their concerns aren’t legitimate or severe enough to warrant professional intervention.

Your privacy is important to us. All results are completely anonymous.

Do you ever forget information that you have learned recently?
Do you have to ask for the same information again or need reminder notes?
Do you have trouble following instructions, like a recipe or directions?
Do you struggle to keep track of finances or pay bills on time?
Do you experience visual problems, such as trouble with reading or judging distance or color?
Do you find yourself becoming confused in the middle of a conversation and having to stop?
Do you struggle to remember words, dates, or events?
Do you lose things and/or sense that people have stolen them?
Do you struggle to remember to keep yourself clean or practice good hygiene?
Have you or others noticed changes in your personality, such as becoming easily upset or anxious?

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If you think you or someone you care about may be suffering from dementia or any other mental health condition, PsyCom.net strongly recommends that you seek help from a mental health professional in order to receive a proper diagnosis and support. For those in crisis, we have compiled a list of resources (some even offer free or low-cost support) where you may be able to find additional help at: https://www.psycom.net/get-help-mental-health.​

Dementia FAQs

How does a doctor test for dementia?

There is no single diagnostic test for Alzheimer’s disease and other causes of dementia. Dementias are diagnosed by evaluating and understanding a person’s memory and thinking patterns. Doctors will consider a person’s memory, grasp of language, mood states, problem-solving skills, ability to maintain focus and perform complex tasks. Evaluation may include in-office cognitive screening (or brief test), physical examination, and review of labs. Labwork helps to determine whether there are vitamin deficiencies or hormonal changes at play. In some cases, evaluation may require neuropsychological testing, brain imaging (CT scan or MRI), and genetic testing.

What is the clock test for dementia?

The clock test is a non-verbal screening tool that may be used as part of the assessment for dementia, Alzheimer’s, and other neurological problems. The clock test screens for cognitive impairment. The individual being screened is asked to draw a clock with the hour and minute hands pointing to a specific time. Research has shown that six potential errors in the clock test—the wrong time, no hands, missing numbers, number substitutions, repetition, and refusal—could be indicative of dementia.

What kind of doctor tests for dementia?

A primary care doctor can perform a physical exam and find out more about your symptoms to determine what may be the cause. They will likely refer you to one or several specialists that can perform specific tests to diagnose dementia. Specialists may include neurologists, who specialize in the brain and nervous system; psychiatrists or psychologists, who specialize in mental health, mental functions, and memory; or geriatricians, who specialize in healthcare for older adults.

At what age can you test someone for the signs of dementia?

There is no one particular age that someone must meet before they can be assessed for signs of dementia, although dementia is more common in people over 65. Early-onset dementia can begin in people who are in their 30s, 40s, and 50s. Diagnosing dementia in its early stages is important as early treatment can slow the progression of symptoms and help to maintain mental functions.

How to diagnose Alzheimer’s vs. dementia?

Alzheimer’s is a progressive and fatal brain disorder. Dementia is not a specific disease, but an umbrella term that defines a syndrome and used to refer to a specific group of symptoms related to a decline in mental ability. Alzheimer’s is one of the most common causes of dementia. Both Alzheimer’s and dementia are diagnosed using a variety of different assessments and tests, including a physical exam, lab tests, cognitive and neuropsychological tests, and an analysis of changes in behavior.

How long do dementia patients live after diagnosis?

Dementia symptoms typically progress slowly. People with dementia will progress from mild to severe dementia at varying speeds and may be diagnosed earlier or later in life. Some people with dementia may live for up to 20 years after their diagnosis, though according to the Alzheimer's Association research shows that the average person lives for four to eight years after a diagnosis of dementia. It's important to point out that the diagnosis of dementia is often missed, delayed, or diagnosed when the illness is moderate or advanced. The impact of that variable may not be accurately reflected in the research regarding the years of life post-diagnosis.

How can you tell if someone has dementia?

The early signs of dementia can differ from person to person and may not be immediately obvious. You may be able to tell someone has dementia if they show signs of memory problems (particularly pertaining to recent events), are increasingly confused, lack concentration, appear withdrawn, or demonstrate personality or behavioral changes.

What conditions can be mistaken for dementia?

The term dementia refers to a specific group of symptoms related to a decline in mental ability. Often, people who experience subtle short-term memory changes, are easily confused, or exhibit different behaviors or personality traits are mistakenly thought to have dementia. These symptoms could be the result of a variety of other conditions or disorders, including other neurocognitive disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, brain growths or tumors, mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and mood disorders, like depression.

Is anger a sign of dementia?

Aggressive or irritable behaviors may occur in people with dementia. People with dementia may become easily upset or angry. They may not understand how to cope with their mental decline, feel misunderstood or confused, feel embarrassed, or be having difficulty communicating their feelings.

What causes dementia to progress so quickly?

Dementia symptoms are typically mild at first and progress over time to moderate and then severe, over several years. The speed as which dementia progresses varies between individuals, but some factors can cause dementia to progress more quickly. These include the person’s age, the type of dementia, and other long term health problems. Dementia tends to progress more slowly in people over 65 compared to younger people below 65.

What is dementia and what causes it?

Dementia is a syndrome (or cluster of symptoms) that causes a person to develop difficulty and problems with their memory or their ability to think. Unlike the normal changes that happen in a person’s memory and thinking over time, dementia affects someone’s ability to function in their daily life activities and their normal routine (e.g. work, hobbies, social life).
There are different causes of dementia. These causes are typically underlying neurological conditions (neurodegenerative diseases which interfere with brain functioning). One common cause of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease. Other causes include diseases that impact brain blood vessels. For example, strokes may cause what is commonly termed Vascular Dementia. Some causes include Lewy Body Disease and Parkinson’s disease.

What's the difference between dementia and Alzheimer's disease?

Dementia is an umbrella term that defines a syndrome. Dementia due to Alzheimer’s disease is one of several types of dementia. Some others include Frontotemporal Dementia, Parkinson’s Disease Dementia, Dementia with Lewy Bodies, and Vascular Dementia.

Is dementia a mental illness?

Dementia is a mental health disorder as defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. In 2013, the American Psychiatric Association changed the name to Major Neurocognitive Disorder, which is a mouthful. The change was made in order to provide a clearer description of the problem. What’s most important to know is that dementias can involve changes to emotions, behaviors, perceptions, and movements in addition to memory and thinking.

How is early-onset Alzheimer's disease diagnosed?

Early-onset Alzheimer’s disease (before age 65) is diagnosed in a similar manner to most dementia. Dementias are diagnosed by evaluating and understanding a person’s memory and thinking patterns. Doctors will consider a person’s memory, grasp of language, mood states, problem-solving skills, ability to maintain focus and perform complex tasks. Evaluation may include in-office cognitive screening (or brief test), physical examination, and review of labs. Labwork helps to determine whether there are vitamin deficiencies or hormonal changes at play. In some cases, evaluation may require neuropsychological testing, brain imaging (CT scan or MRI) and genetic testing.

Can dementia suddenly get worse?

The progression of dementia depends on the underlying disease. Some diseases have a rapid progression. Others progress more slowly. Any sudden change with either slow or rapid progression should be evaluated for another cause. In most cases, changes with dementia may seem like they came out of the blue when they actually may have been slowly developing in the background. The best way to prepare for changes and manage expectations is through information. Your doctor and medical team will be a valuable resource. There are a variety of educational resources that are also available through the Alzheimer's Association.

What diagnosis falls under Alzheimer's disease?

Alzheimer’s disease is a diagnosis in itself. When it is noticeable clinically and identified early on, the formal diagnosis may be Mild Cognitive Impairment due to Alzheimer’s disease which may later develop into a diagnosis of dementia due to Alzheimer’s disease.

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Last Updated: Jul 8, 2021