The diagnosis of a dementia is made by a medical doctor – either a General Practitioner or a hospital doctor such as a Geriatrician (specialist in the diagnosis and treatment of physical and chronic health problems of older people), Old Age Psychiatrist (specialist in the diagnosis and treatment of mental health problems in older people) Neurologist (medical specialist in brain disorders) or at a Memory Clinic (specialist service usually hospital based and dealing in the assessment and diagnosis of memory problems.
An internationally agreed set of criteria for diagnosing dementia has been established. These criteria are laid out in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) published by the American Psychiatric Association. This manual is currently in its’ fifth edition, DSM-5.
It is generally accepted that for a diagnosis multiple cognitive deficits must be present these include: