If you or someone you know is suffering with memory problems they can be referred to our First Memory clinic for memory assessment. Either you or your GP can contact us to arrange an assessment or seek further information. We will then review the referral and if accepted book a date for an initial appointment.
Routine blood tests will usually be carried out by your GP. We will arrange an MRI brain scan which will look to see if there are any degenerative brain changes (progressive nerve cell loss). This is a harmless investigation that only takes 5-10 minutes to complete. We use one of the local scanning providers, dates for scans are flexible and can be arranged in the evening time or on the weekend if more convenient.
Alongside the scan we will also occasionally need to complete detailed memory tests (neuropsychology tests). These will give a better picture of overall brain function.
Neuropsychological Tests (memory tests)
On the same day as the scan (or a day convenient for you) the neuorpsychologist (memory testing specialist) will complete a comprehensive memory test. The test will take around 90 minutes to complete. The assessment looks into your memory function and thinking. The neuropsychologist will then prepare a report for our medical consultant.
Meeting with the Consultant Doctor
Finally we will arrange an appointment with the Consultant at our Memory Clinic. The consultant will have the results of the MRI scan and if applicable the neuropsychology report. He will obtain a detailed and thorough medical history. It is ideal if someone who knows the patient is also present to give their perspective of the memory symptoms. The consultant will take all the information into account and make a final working diagnosis. The consultant will discuss the diagnosis with you and the person who accompanies you if you so wish. He will discuss treatment options. We can then provide the GP (family doctor) with the diagnosis and recommendations with regards to treatment.
A Friendly, Knowledgeable Service
Altogether the time from referral to a diagnosis will take no more than a couple of weeks in general. All of our memory clinic staff are very experienced in memory loss and dementia diagnosis. They are friendly, approachable and happy to answer any questions or address any concerns you may have throughout the process. We can sometimes offer home visits by the doctor and psychologist if needed.