Are you the patient? Hi, I am the doctor!
Too often, a person’s complaints about forgetfulness are dismissed by their family, friends, and even doctors. You may “look” okay, but you do not feel okay. You know something is wrong. Maybe your memory is not what it used to be. You feel less sharp. You forget names, or struggle to find words. Or maybe your sense of direction, which was always joked about, has now worsened in a way that is no longer funny.
Your concerns deserve to be taken seriously.
There is a certain amount of cognitive decline that occurs as we get older, known as normal aging. A doctor cannot reassure a person that they have normal aging with only a rushed office visit and a 3-word memory test. They may have a hunch! But you deserve a full evaluation.
I will evaluate you in a comprehensive manner, to not only uncover the main driver for your symptoms, but the multiple other things going on with your health and your life that could be affecting your memory and cognitive function.
Sometimes people do not get evaluations because they are afraid of what they may find out. Do not let fear prevent you from getting the evaluation you need.
•If the result is that you are reassured that you do not have a progressive condition affecting your memory, then you can have peace of mind and stop worrying, which may have been making the symptoms worse!
•If you are diagnosed with a disease, then you can finally have the validation that you are not “going crazy” and that there is a reason for your symptoms, and now you can do something about it.
Nobody wants a progressive illness, but if you have one (G-d forbid), then you should find out sooner rather than later. Diagnostic clarity leads to earlier treatment. With new disease modifying drugs becoming available, it is important to know if you have a condition that warrants treatment.
If you are fortunate to not have troublesome symptoms, but you have a family history of dementia, then you may be worried about your future. Are there things you can do now to help prevent disease later on? Yes! We can discuss your risk factors and create a plan to tackle each condition that can affect brain health.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: I do not think I have dementia, but what if I have the very early signs of it? Should I still see you?
A: I evaluate patients along the entire spectrum of cognitive dysfunction, spanning from normal cognitive function but worried about some new errors, momentary lapses, or “senior moments”, to advanced dementia. You will receive a judgment-free evaluation that is meant to empower you to maximize your cognitive health.
Q: If it turns out my symptoms are normal for age, why does it feel worse than that?
A: The benefit of having a comprehensive evaluation is that we can figure out together why the symptoms you are having do not feel normal. We will discuss your mood, sleep, diet, activity level, stress, coping mechanisms, and more. All of this will be put into context of who you are and what your typical strengths and challenges are.