The goal of memory screenings is to identify people who may need more extensive evaluation. We use a brief cognitive test in people who do not have a prior diagnosis of dementia.
Many people become concerned about their memory as they age, and wonder whether the occasional moment of absent-mindedness is a normal part of aging or something more. It is often difficult, especially in the early stages of a dementia, for physicians to diagnose an individual with whom they have limited contact outside of the time constraints of an office visit.
Because dementia medications are more effective the earlier that they are implemented into a regimen, the results of a memory screening may prove very helpful in encouraging further diagnostic screening as early as possible.
Regular memory screenings can be a valuable tool in determining when further evaluation is necessary by establishing a baseline score and tracking changes that might be of concern over time. We conduct memory screenings throughout our region based on the Mini-Cog, a widely regarded clinical tool and one of the statistically validated instruments suggested by the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA).
During these free and confidential screenings, the participant is asked a series of questions aimed at assessing retention of information and ability to process and repeat information as it is given by one of our trained screeners. In total, the process takes approximately 30 minutes. The screener does not diagnose dementia or any or disease, but the results of the test reveal a numerical score. The scoring system is explain to you and you leave with a letter to present to your primary care physician. The test also helps to establish a base line of memory functioning for comparison use down the road.
National Memory Screening Week is November 1-7, 2015. Learn more
We support the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America in their proactive awareness of the benefits of early detection. Memory screens are available in our office by appointment throughout the year. A memory screen does not yield a specific diagnosis, rather it helps the screener and the participant identify potential problems through a numerical score. Participants are encouraged to share the results with their primary care physician.