When you start having trouble with your short-term memory, you can’t seem to perform multiple steps in a task, or your personality has changed, it may be time to schedule a dementia evaluation. At New York Neuropsychological Services in the Murray Hill neighborhood of Manhattan, Nicole Murray, Psy.D., performs many types of dementia assessments that can detect and diagnose dementia or predict your risk for progressing to dementia. To schedule an appointment for memory disorders, call the New York City office or use the online booking feature.
Dementia refers to changes in your memory and thinking ability that are severe enough to interfere with your daily functioning.
There are four types of dementia that get progressively worse as you get older:
Dementia is also caused by a range of medical conditions, including kidney disease and vitamin deficiencies. When an underlying disease is the cause, your memory may improve as the condition is treated.
Dementia symptoms appear as nerve cells in the brain are damaged and stop functioning. The symptoms you develop depend on the type of dementia and the area of the brain affected.
In the early stage of Alzheimer’s disease, for example, the area of the brain that forms new memories is affected. As a result, one of the first symptoms is short-term memory loss. By comparison, behavior changes are usually the first sign of frontotemporal dementia.
As a group, the four progressive dementias cause symptoms such as memory loss, confusion, and difficulty communicating. Dementia can cause personality changes, anger, and agitation.
People with dementia find it difficult to develop a plan or organize their actions. Psychological symptoms such as depression, anxiety, and hallucinations are also common at various stages of dementia.
When you’re worried about memory loss or personality changes and you schedule a dementia evaluation, the first step is usually a quick screening to determine the likelihood of cognitive problems.
If that test reveals a reason for concern, Dr. Murray performs an in-depth neuropsychological evaluation of your brain function.
These are examples of the skills evaluated during a dementia evaluation:
When assessing attention, the tests may evaluate if it takes you longer to complete routine tasks or perform math calculations. Common problems with language include not being able to think of the word you want to use or having a hard time understanding communication.
Once your dementia evaluation is complete, Dr. Murray works with you and your family to develop an individualized treatment plan, helping you find the support you need, and recommending medications that slow the progression of certain types of dementia.
If you have concerns about your memory, call New York Neuropsychological Services or schedule an appointment online.