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  • Memory / Dementia Evaluations

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    Memory & Dementia Evaluations

    Are you or a loved one having memory difficulties? 

    Have you noticed personality changes in your loved ones?

    Do you feel your loved one struggles with recalling information you have recently told them?

    Do you feel your loved one has difficulty remembering names, recent events, long term events?

    Do you wonder if these difficulties are suggestive of a dementia? Or is this just normal aging?

    The word “dementia” or “Alzheimer’s disease” can be intimidating words for you or your loved ones to hear. The key is to determine whether you’re just experiencing “normal aging” cognitive changes or if there is the possibility of an underlying dementia process.

    There are many different types of dementia and their diagnosis depends on past medical history, current symptoms, pattern of cognitive difficulties, and onset and rate of progression of difficulties. A neuropsychological evaluation will help differentiate between normal aging, mild cognitive impairment, neurodegenerative disorders, and dementia due to different etiologies or causes.

    What are different types of dementia?

    Alzheimer’s Disease

    Dementia with Lewy Body

    Vascular Dementia

    Frontotemporal Dementia

    Mixed Dementia

    Alcohol Related Dementia

    Dementia Related to Parkinson’s Disease

    Dementia Related to Huntington’s Disease

    Old Age Vs. Dementia

    Common Signs of Aging

    –         Decrease in learning and processing speeds

    –         Decline in concentration

    –         Decline in attention span

    –         Difficulty with problem solving

    –         Decreased reaction time

    Signs or Symptoms for Dementia

    Cognitive Changes

    –         Difficulty recognizing people and forgetting names

    –         Decline in short term memory

    –         Repeating questions, forgetting recent conversations

    –         Difficulty following along conversations

    –         Disorientation about the time of day, day of week, or date

    –         May become disoriented in new places

    –         Difficulty with directions

    –         Word finding difficulty

    –         Often misplacing items in the home

    –         Forgetting recent events

    –         Confusion or getting lost while driving

    –         Trouble keeping track of medications or appointments

    –         Difficulty organizing or planning

    –         No longer able to handle financials like paying bills on time

    –         Trouble focusing and concentrating

    –         Decreased ability to learn new information

    –         Decline in motor functions

    –         Decline in coordination

    Psychological Changes

    –         Changes in personality

    –         Loss of interests and activities one previously enjoyed

    –         Mood swings

    –         Decline in social skills

    –         Recluse or uninterested in socializing

    –         Sensitivity to change

    –         Anxiousness or agitation

    –         Decrease in personal hygiene

    –         Ignoring safety concerns

    –         Decrease in exercise and nutrition

    –         Careless purchases or being negligent with one’s money

    –         Inappropriate social behaviors or comments to strangers

    Why consider a neuropsychological evaluation?

    A neuropsychological evaluation will be able to provide you or your loved one with a full comprehensive evaluation of cognitive and psychological functioning. The evaluation will provide information about a person’s cognitive abilities and emotional well-being. If you or someone you know is experiencing the symptoms listed above, they may benefit from receiving a full evaluation to help identify whether there is an underlying cause for the cognitive and psychological changes occurring.

    Evaluations for older adults may also serve as baselines should they have difficulties in the future. Future evaluation results can be compared to these baseline test results to determine if there are cognitive declines. These are valuable measurement tools for patients with early dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, or someone with a family history of dementia, to evaluate one’s functioning over time.

    What will a neuropsychological evaluation assess?

    Neuropsychological evaluations are comprehensive assessments which will assess areas like IQ, working memory, short term memory, delayed memory, reasoning and problem-solving skills, language skills, attention and concentration, visual-spatial skills, motor and sensory skills, judgement, processing speed, mood, and behavior.

    What can I expect during a neuropsychological evaluation?

    The first step is reaching out to our office to schedule you or your loved one’s appointment for a comprehensive neuropsychological evaluation with Dr. Shivani Saible, our clinical neuropsychologist. Dr. Saible has 10 years of experience evaluating individuals who have dementia. Feel free to read Dr. Saible’s bio here!

    Neuropsychological evaluations will provide you with the answers you are looking for, for you or your loved one. Our neuropsychological evaluations typically take 3 hours. You will then schedule a follow up appointment with Dr. Saible two weeks later in order to discuss your results. Your testing appointment and follow up are included in your co-pay. During the follow up session, Dr. Saible will provide you or your loved one with a diagnosis, helpful recommendations and tools to utilize at home, and referrals to other doctors as needed.

    Are neuropsychological evaluations covered by insurance?

    Neuropsychological evaluations are usually covered by insurance plans. However, coverage may be subject to deductible and coinsurance percentage. If you do not know what your deductible and coinsurance amounts are, our office staff will check your insurance benefits and inform you of your out-of-pocket cost prior to your scheduled appointment.

    Do I need a referral?

    Nope! No referrals necessary. If you feel the above symptoms describe you or someone you know, please reach out to our office today to schedule an evaluation!

    If you do have a referral from a PCP or specialist provider, please bring it to your appointment so we are able to share the results of our evaluation with your provider.

    Please contact us for any additional questions you may have. We look forward to hearing from you!