FEATURE TOPIC: Restorative Care: Best PracticesDiagnostic and Laboratory Tests Used to Diagnose Alzheimer's DiseasePAGANA, KATHLEEN D. PHD, RNAuthor Information Kathleen D. Pagana, PhD, RN, is Professor Emeritus, Lycoming College, Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Address correspondence to: Kathleen D. Pagana, PhD, RN, 1244 Crestfield Drive, Williamsport, PA 17701. Alzheimer's Care Today: October-December 2008 - Volume 9 - Issue 4 - p 263-266 doi: 10.1097/01.ALCAT.0000338657.77155.86 Buy Metrics Abstract Alzheimer's disease is the leading cause of dementia in western countries. It is the fourth leading cause of death (after heart disease, cancer, and stroke) in the United States. The challenge for healthcare providers is to diagnose Alzheimer's disease after ruling out other causes of dementia. There are numerous advantages to early detection. Routine, optional, and occasionally helpful diagnostic and laboratory tests are described. © 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.