Constructing the Alzheimer Patient

Bridging the Gap between Symptomatology and Diagnosis


  • Marion Droz Mendelzweig


Identifying a tipping point that might draw a distinction between normal and pathological ageing is a diffi cult task. This paper reviews various steps that lead to establishing a diagnosis of dementia disorders as it is done in a memory clinic. It analyses the way different data is collected in the patient’s daily life. The steps, including a patient’s neurological status, neuropsychological tests and MRI, are interwoven with regard to identifying Alzheimer’s disease. The mild cognitive impairment category that emerges from this process appears as a grey zone, useful to the practitioners and patients despite the controversies underlying the concept. By questioning the performative dynamic stemming from the encounters between patients with cognitive concerns and professionals, this paper intends to fi nd out how this activity contributes to the standardization of the disease outlines, and how this process contributes to separating ageing signs from a pathological way of becoming aged.


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How to Cite

Mendelzweig, M. D. (2009) “Constructing the Alzheimer Patient: Bridging the Gap between Symptomatology and Diagnosis”, Science & Technology Studies, 22(2), pp. 55–79. doi: 10.23987/sts.55239.