I am answering some questions today. How did your spinal fluid test results indicate that you have Alzheimer’s?
First a quick note, I am not a medical professional. The results I am sharing are mine and the information is taken from the lab results and explanation provided.
The cerebrospinal fluid is tested for Tau Proteins then graphed. Depending on the levels of the proteins, the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s (AD) can be determined. Along with AD, this test is used to help with diagnosis of other diseases such as Lewy Bodies (DLB) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD) which is explained in the test results. In my case, the numbers were in the range for AD, however, they were low indicating early stage. My official diagnosis is Early Onset and Early Stage, there is a difference. I recently read a blog from a very nice man that was detailing his cognitive and memory deficits with Early Onset of AD and realized he was diagnosed at 75 and then in later posts referred to his diagnosis as Early Stage. I think there is confusion about the difference between Early Onset (also called Younger Onset) and Early Stage. I like the Younger Onset categorization because it removes any confusion due to age.
Early Onset is determined strictly by age (under the age of 65). Early stage can be any age, but factors such as the protein test and also a neuropsychological/memory exam among others determines the stage. Again, in my case, I am Early Onset due to my age (58) and Early Stage based on both the Spinal fluid test and also a Neuropsychological Evaluation and several memory tests that I will address in a later post.
Hope this helps, just a footnote, the spinal tap was not as bad as advertised! I did encounter headaches after, listen to your medical professional when they say NO exertion and stay flat on your back after the test for a couple days!