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Evaluating Cognitive Change

After gathering information from you and your care partner about symptoms you are experiencing and performing a physical exam, your Nurse Practitioner will have you complete several tasks that test your thinking abilities. This paper and pencil testing is completed in less than 15 minutes, and the results provide your medical team with an additional piece of information that can help determine if you have dementia, mild cognitive impairment, or if cognitive functioning appears normal. Results of cognitive screening can also be used to measure how your thinking changes over time to determine if your cognitive symptoms are progressively worsening. This testing will occur during your Memory Team visit.

Neuropsychological Evaluation

If your medical team determines after the cognitive screening that more in-depth testing would be important for your care, you may be referred to a Neuropsychologist for further assessment. Neuropsychological Evaluation involves several hours of paper and pencil and sometimes computerized testing to find out how different thinking abilities may be impacted. Aspects of your thinking that are evaluated include learning and memory, problem-solving, processing speed, attention and concentration, visual perception and construction, mood, and behavior. This will typically occur in a single visit and after you and your care partner will meet with the Neuropsychologist to talk about your current symptoms.

The results of Neuropsychological Evaluation can help your medical team clarify the presence, severity, and possible causes of your cognitive symptoms, diagnose a cognitive disorder, and help guide treatment. This appointment is not in Neurology but occurs in a different department.