Diagnosis

Diagnosis at Mayo Clinic

Mayo Clinic neurologists have experience diagnosing posterior cortical atrophy. Neurologists work with doctors trained in eye conditions (ophthalmologists), mental health conditions (psychiatrists), imaging (radiologists) and others to diagnose your condition.

During your visit, your doctor will review your medical history and symptoms, including vision difficulties, and conduct a physical examination and a neurological examination. Your doctor may order several tests to help diagnose your condition and exclude other conditions that may cause similar symptoms.

  • Mental status and neuropsychological tests. Your doctor will ask you questions and conduct tests to assess your cognitive skills. You may have psychiatric assessments to test for depression or other mental illnesses.
  • Blood tests. Your blood may be tested for vitamin deficiency, thyroid disorders and other conditions that may be causing your symptoms.
  • Ophthalmology examination. Your doctor will conduct a vision test to determine whether another condition is causing your vision symptoms.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). An MRI machine uses powerful radio waves and a magnetic field to create a three-dimensional view of your brain. In this test, your doctor can view abnormalities in your brain that may be causing your symptoms.
  • Positive emission tomography (PET) or single-photon emission computerized tomography (SPECT). In these tests, a doctor injects a small amount of radioactive material and places emission detectors on your brain. PET provides visual images of brain activity. SPECT measures blood flow to various regions of your brain.

Treatment

Treatment at Mayo Clinic

Mayo Clinic neurologists and other specialists care for people who have posterior cortical atrophy. Doctors work with you to develop the most appropriate treatment for your condition.

Posterior cortical atrophy can't be cured, but doctors will help you manage your condition. Your doctor may give you medications to treat your symptoms. You may benefit from physical or occupational therapy. Your doctor will coordinate your care with your primary doctor.

Posterior cortical atrophy care at Mayo Clinic

Dec. 13, 2014
References
  1. Posterior cortical atrophy. Alzheimer's Association. http://www.alz.org/dementia/posterior-cortical-atrophy.asp. Accessed Sept. 30, 2014.
  2. Crutch SJ, et al. Posterior cortical atrophy. The Lancet Neurology. 2012;11:128.