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  • The use of a structural neuroimaging study, such as a computerized tomography (CT) or a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan, is generally recommended as part of an initial evaluation, particularly for patients with a subacute onset (less than 1 year), age at onset less than 65 years, vascular risk factors, or possible focal lesion. The value of imaging in patients with late-stage disease who have not been previously evaluated has not been established. Functional neuroimaging using positron emission tomography (PET) may contribute to diagnostic specificity (e.g., to differentiate Alzheimer's disease and frontotemporal dementia).

  • Neuropsychological testing may be helpful to differentiate among dementias, evaluate a patient with subtle or atypical symptoms, characterize the extent of cognitive impairment, establish baseline function, and guide treatment.

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