Memory loss (amnesia) is unusual forgetfulness. You may not be able to remember new events, recall one or more memories of the past, or both. The memory loss may be for a short time and then resolve (transient). Or, depending on the cause, it may progress.
Dementia is a term that is often confused and commonly associated with Alzheimer's Disease. Dementia is not just one disease but a cluster of symptoms that are significant enough to interrupt one’s day-to-day functioning. Alzheimer's disease is the most common type of dementia. However, there are several other types of dementia such as Parkinson's disease dementia, Vascular dementia, Dementia with Lewy bodies, Mixed dementia, Frontotemporal dementia and etc. Other neurologic and psychiatric conditions may present similar symptoms, such as memory loss, and can be mistaken for a neurodegenerative condition like Alzheimer's disease. Early evaluation is important since reversible or partly reversible symptoms can often be treated.
Certain types of memory disorders may be treatable if their causes stem from health issues. For example, medication side effects, vitamin B12 deficiency, chronic alcoholism, infections or blood clots in the brain or blood are known causes of memory loss. Thyroid, kidney or liver disorders can also be causes of memory loss. Emotional problems, such as stress, anxiety or depression, can make a person more forgetful and can be mistaken for dementia. For instance, someone who has recently retired or who is coping with the death of a spouse, relative, or friend may feel sad, lonely or worried. For older patients, memory problems may be a sign of an underlying issue.
At BG Neurology’s Memory Clinic, patients and families gain expert treatment with the utmost compassion, sensitivity, and respect. We specialize in patient-centered evaluations, provided by our Ivy league educated, board certified neurologist and team of certified dementia care specialists, to collaborate with the patient and family and provide you with the best plan of care.These comprehensive multi-specialty assessments enable us to incorporate all aspects of daily living, providing personalized therapy for your loved one.
A neurocognitive evaluation is performed to help understand how the different areas and systems of the brain are working. Examinations are usually recommended when there are symptoms or complaints involving memory or other areas of thinking.
A neurocognitive evaluation typically consists of an interview, psychosocial assessment and formal neurological examination. Some rating scales involve paper-and-pencil tests and answering questions. Family members are usually included to obtain an inclusive history. A collaborative plan is presented at the conclusion of the visit, and a written report is provided to the referring doctor.
Neurocognitive testing may measure:
- General intellect
- Mood and personality
- Attention and concentration
- Learning and memory
- Executive functioning (e.g., sequencing, reasoning, problem-solving)
- Visual-spatial abilities (e.g., perception)
- Motor and sensory abilities
- Academic skills appropriate to educational level and culture
- The assessment can be used to comprehend a patient’s situation and provide ongoing evaluation of progress or decline in symptomatology
- Identification of cognitive difficulties —It is very sensitive to mild memory and thinking problems that might not be overtly obvious. This can assist to identify weaknesses in particular areas of cognition.
- Differential diagnosis — different illnesses present with unique patterns of strengths and deficits which can help to identify specific areas of brain impact. Therefore, the examination can be used to formulate a diagnosis. This is necessary as appropriate patient-centered treatment depends on an accurate diagnosis.
- Documentation of change — identifying baseline functioning and ongoing, neurocognitive assessment over time can be an important tool to measure the effects of treatment, in addition to the effects of comorbid surgical, medical and behavioral conditions or treatments on the patient’s neurocognitive status.
- Treatment planning — the assessment can be used to specify areas in need to plan and manage multidisciplinary therapies that use a patient’s cognitive strengths to compensate for weaknesses.
Losing one's memory can be both frustrating and frightening. With that in mind, BG Neurology has partnered with Neuroscience Research Associates in the study of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia through participation in numerous clinical research trials. The Memory Clinic provides an intensive Alzheimer’s disease management program for patients, families and caregivers. Our team of multi-disciplined providers and certified dementia care specialists develop customized protocols for each patient to include, but not limited to:
- Competency assessments
- Safety education
- Legal and financial planning
- Caregiver assistance
- Family education
- Local interactive programs
- Physical Therapy evaluations
- Neurocognitive/Neuropsychological Testing
We are committed to work towards a cure for Alzheimer’s and all forms of dementia while controlling symptoms that families find difficult to care for at home.