What to Expect
What to Expect at Your First Visit
Your initial visit is a straightforward and safe evaluation that checks memory and other thinking skills.
You will be asked questions regarding your memory, thinking, mood, lifestyle, education, as well as a very detailed history of your past and current health conditions and medications. If you are currently taking medications, it’s a good idea to bring a list with the current dosing. We will also request that you sign a medical record release form in case additional medical records are needed for clarification.
At your appointment, the person with memory loss must be accompanied by a family member or friend.
Initial visits are scheduled for 90 minutes, and may actually take longer if, after consultation with the physicians, a consensus is reached that:
- You are a good candidate for aclinicaltrialand we are able to begin the process that day, or
- Additional procedures/testing is indicated.
Depending on the situation, this could include:
- A physical and neurological examination, along with additional cognitive tests that provide further information about memory and thinking abilities.
- Labwork to evaluate overall health, with attention to thyroid and nutritional deficiencies.
- Brain imaging using a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computed tomography (CT) scan. Additional neuropsychological testing, or positron emission tomography (PET) scan could also be ordered.
- Genetic testing is typically not used to diagnose Alzheimer’s.
The goal of your first visit is to determine:
- Is memory loss present?
- If yes, what are the possible causes?
- Are the symptoms and reported history consistent with what we know about Alzheimer’s?
Once the exam, lab and imaging results are completed and reviewed, the physician will make a more specific diagnosis. A treatment plan will be identified, discussed and communicated with the patient, family member and primary care physician or other health care provider.