Get a Memory Evaluation
We welcome the privilege of participating in your care, and we will do everything possible to make your experience with us a positive one. Brain diseases that erode memory and other cognitive abilities raise a unique set of challenges, and we have developed a multi-disciplinary approach to address the needs of our patients.
The evaluation of patients with memory loss and related symptoms requires an assessment of the nature of the problems as well as consideration of other medical conditions that may be causing or contributing to the illness. This comprehensive assessment typically requires at least two visits. The focus of the first visit is on gathering a detailed medical history, meeting with one of the neurologists who will do a complete neurologic exam and meeting with one of our neuropsychology technicians who will administer a battery of “paper and pencil” tests to assess your memory and other cognitive abilities. At this first visit the neurologist will also determine if any other diagnostic tests such as brain scans, lumbar punctures or blood tests will be needed. The focus of your second visit will be on providing you with a specific diagnosis, discussing the appropriate therapy and providing counseling and guidance for long-range planning if needed. This two visit system has been designed to allow us to provide each patient with the necessary to discuss the diagnosis, review treatment recommendations and to address questions in a calm and unhurried setting. The goals of each visit are outlined below.
Bring the following items:
- Bring your insurance cards.
- Bring medical records you have gathered from your physicians.
- If you have had brain scans (MRI, CT or PET) done previously please bring either the films or a copy of the scan on a CD for the neurologist to review. These can be obtained by contacting the radiology department where the scans were done.
- Bring all the medications you are currently using including over the counter medications and any nutritional supplements.
- Bring eyeglasses or hearing aides or any other assistive devices you use.
- Plan to dress casually for your appointment. You may be asked to partially undress. Socks or knee high stockings are recommended.
- You will initially be seen by one of our nurses who will begin your evaluation.
- The neurologist will examine you and may order blood work, brain imaging (MRI or CT) or other tests.
- A battery of neuropsychological tests will be administered by one of our research specialists. You will be asked many questions which will help your doctor in diagnosing your problem. Some of the questions will seem extremely simple and others will be difficult. No one gets all the right answers, so do not be concerned if there are some you are unable to answer.
- Information will be gathered from your family.
You will not be given a diagnosis on your first visit. The results of all the testing that was completed during this visit must be reviewed. In addition we must have time to receive the results from all of the tests that were ordered at the first visit.
The Second Visit
- A family conference will be held with you and any family members that accompany you to this second visit.
- A diagnosis will be given unless additional testing is needed.
- Treatments will be recommended and initiated when appropriate.
- You and your family will have the opportunity to ask questions.
- Follow-up care will be planned.
- You can sign forms to give us permission to provide physicians of your choice with a copy of the report from this evaluation.
- You will be scheduled for follow up visits as needed, at which time you may see the nurse, the doctor, the social worker or another health care provider.
- You will be given information on how to contact our staff should you have questions after you leave our clinic.