Treating Tbi Related Memory Loss
Memory loss due to traumatic brain injury may only be temporary, and if thats the case, then simply rest and letting the brain heal should be enough.
However, in cases where the injury is more extensive or there is more significant damage to areas of the brain that handle learning and memory, then you will probably need to figure out a way to manage your memory problems, including:
- Removing distractions
- Practicing and repeating information you want to remember
- Using technology
- Use to do lists or other visual aids
What Happens During A Cognitive Test
There are different types of cognitive tests. Each involves answering a series of questions and/or performing simple tasks. They are designed to help measure mental functions, such as memory, language, and the ability to recognize objects. The most common types of tests are:
- Montreal Cognitive Assessment test. A 10-15 minute test that includes memorizing a short list of words, identifying a picture of an animal, and copying a drawing of a shape or object.
- Mini-Mental State Exam . A 7-10 minute test that includes naming the current date, counting backward, and identifying everyday objects like a pencil or watch.
- Mini-Cog. A 3-5 minute test that includes recalling a three-word list of objects and drawing a clock.
What Is Dementia And What Causes It
Dementia is a syndrome that causes a person to develop difficulty and problems with their memory or their ability to think. Unlike the normal changes that happen in a persons memory and thinking over time, dementia affects someones ability to function in their daily life activities and their normal routine .There are different causes of dementia. These causes are typically underlying neurological conditions . One common cause of dementia is Alzheimers disease. Other causes include diseases that impact brain blood vessels. For example, strokes may cause what is commonly termed Vascular Dementia. Some causes include Lewy Body Disease and Parkinsons disease.
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At What Age Can You Test Someone For The Signs Of Dementia
There is no one particular age that someone must meet before they can be assessed for signs of dementia, although dementia is more common in people over 65. Early-onset dementia can begin in people who are in their 30s, 40s, and 50s. Diagnosing dementia in its early stages is important as early treatment can slow the progression of symptoms and help to maintain mental functions.
How Accurate Is It
This quiz is;NOT a diagnostic tool. Mental health disorders can only be diagnosed by licensed healthcare professionals.
Psycom;believes assessments can be a valuable first step toward getting treatment. All too often people stop short of seeking help out of fear their concerns arent legitimate or severe enough to warrant professional intervention.
If you think you or someone you care about may be suffering from dementia or any other mental health condition, PsyCom.net strongly recommends that you seek help from a mental health professional in order to receive a proper diagnosis and support. For those in crisis, we have compiled a list of resources where you may be able to find additional help at: https://www.psycom.net/get-help-mental-health.
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Who Gives The Diagnosis
The GP will, in most cases, tell a patient about a diagnosis of dementia. If the person has been referred to a specialist for further tests or brain scans, reports of those will be sent to the GP. In some cases, a doctor may decide a diagnosis is too much for the person to cope with and may initially inform a partner or close relative.
If You Or Someone Else Suspects Early Signs Of Memory Loss Here’s How You Can Find Out If There’s A Problem
There’s no cure for dementia, and you cannot substantially reverse its effects, but there are ways to possibly slow its progression. But first, you need to know if you or a loved one may have a memory disorder. “Unfortunately, there is not one single test that confirms dementia while you are alive,” says Dr. Julie Brody Magid, clinical director of the Harvard-affiliated McLean Hospital Memory Disorders Assessment Clinic. “The testing process is multilayered and takes many things into consideration. Going through this evaluation may help identify memory problems before they get worse.”
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Saint Louis University Mental Status Exam
SLUMS, or the Saint Louis University Mental Status Exam, may be given in conjunction with the MMSE. SLUMS is a test consisting of a series of questions. Scores range from 0 to 30, with one point given for each correct answer. It is an excellent tool for identifying mild cognitive issues and early-stage dementia or mild dementia. This early detection allows doctors to attempt early preventive measures.
You can actually to see for yourself.
What A Doctor May Check And Ask
Most people with suspected dementia will go to a doctors surgery to see their GP. Some doctors, however, will prefer to make a home visit to observe and assess someones behaviour in their own environment. A GP will check a persons blood pressure, temperature and pulse, listen to their heart and lungs and collect blood and urine samples for further tests to be carried out. The doctor will ask what potential signs of dementia have been noticed and when they began, how often they occur and whether they are getting worse.
The GP may ask a series of questions designed to test the persons memory and reasoning skills. The doctor is also likely to carry out a detailed review of any medication taken and ask about personal and family medical history, diet, smoking, intake of alcohol and exercise. The doctor will welcome notes perhaps kept by the patient, a partner, close family member or a care worker that outline when any symptoms or changes first happened. The GP may feel able to make a diagnosis at the conclusion of the assessment or may refer the person to a memory clinic or specialist.
Cultural diversity is an important consideration in the assessment process. Dementia assessments need to be culturally appropriate and recognise the impact of culture on individual behaviour. An interpreter may be vital for a proper assessment.
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What Are Cognitive Or Memory Tests
Cognitive or memory tests are used as a step in the process of diagnosing dementia. For more information on the other stages of the diagnostic process .
There are a number of tests which can be conducted to assess cognition. Each test has its advantages and disadvantages including:
- The time taken to conduct the test.
- Cost, as some tests incur a fee.
- The focus of the test, so for example, those which focus on testing memory are less effective for identifying dementia with Lewy bodies or frontotemporal dementia as memory is less affected in the earlier stages.
Below is a summary of the main tests which are used by GPs and specialists to help diagnosis dementia.
General Practitioner Assessment of Cognition
- The test is used by GPs and takes less than 5 minutes. In addition a carers interview is conducted, which takes a couple of minutes.
- It includes questions on recall , time orientation, clock drawing and current affairs.
- And checks for orientation, memory, language, visuospatial skills, executive function and other daily living functions.
Abbreviated Mental Test
- The test is used by GPs and takes around 5 minutes.
- It includes questions on recall, time and year orientation, ability to remember age and year of birth, general questions about world affairs, ability to identify people and a count backwards from 20 to 1.
- And checks for orientation, memory and attention.
MiniMental State Examination
Montreal Cognitive Assessment;
Addenbrookes Cognitive Examination
Free Short Term Memory Test
A popular working memory test that is used in many cognitive and neuroscience research labs. Type the numbers you see into the box below. Most people are able to remember 5 to 8 numbers in a row. You change the Span of numbers displayed below.
To make this test more challenging, switch from Forward to Reverse order, and change the test speed from Slow to Fast. Click on the New Test Button to begin
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What Treatment Is Available For Alzheimers Or Dementia
There is no cure for dementia. But people with Alzheimers might be prescribed a type of medication called cholinesterase inhibitors. There are three options: Donepezil, Rivastigmine or Galantamine. These medications work by preventing the breakdown of a chemical messenger which helps nerve cells in the brain communicate with each other.
Memantine can also be prescribed in the moderate to severe stage of Alzheimers disease alongside one of the above medications. This medication blocks the effects of excess glutamate in the brain and can help people with Alzheimers show some improvement with their memory, reasoning, language and attention.
If vascular dementia is caused by or related to heart disease, diabetes, or strokes, taking medication to control these conditions may prevent your dementia from getting worse.
Living healthily is the most important change you can make to help to reduce your risk of developing dementia or to slow down its progression, once diagnosed. There is evidence that what is good for the heart is also good for the brain. You can improve your brain function and overall health by eating a healthy balanced diet, giving up smoking, taking 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity per week e.g. brisk walking or cycling; and drinking alcohol in moderation. It is recommended that anyone over the age of 40 should attend an NHS Health Check every five years for early identification and treatment of physical health issues.
Initial Evaluation Of The Patient With Suspected Dementia
ALAN M. ADELMAN, M.D., M.S., Penn State University College of Medicine, Hershey, Pennsylvania
MEL P. DALY, M.D., Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland
Am Fam Physician.;2005;May;1;71:1745-1750.
Dementia is a common disorder among older persons, and projections indicate that the number of patients with dementia in the United States will continue to grow. Alzheimers disease and vascular dementia account for the majority of cases of dementia. After a thorough history and physical examination, including a discussion with other family members, a baseline measurement of cognitive function should be obtained. The Mini-Mental State Examination is the most commonly used instrument to document cognitive impairment. Initial laboratory evaluation includes tests for thyroid-stimulating hormone and vitamin B12 levels. Structural neuroimaging with noncontrast computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging also is recommended. Other testing should be guided by the history and physical examination. Neuropsychologic testing can help determine the extent of cognitive impairment, but it is not recommended on a routine basis. Neuropsychologic testing may be most helpful in situations where screening tests are normal or equivocal, but there remains a high level of concern that the person may be cognitively impaired.
Summary of Recommendations
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Discuss Test Results With A Doctor
Dont assume that the test results are equal to a diagnosis of any kind.
The SAGE test is a screening tool that helps doctors detect early signs of cognitive impairment that are typically not noticeable during a normal office visit.
When the test is repeated over time, doctors can watch for changes in cognitive ability. Being able to measure changes helps them detect and treat health conditions early.
Thats why its important to bring the completed test to the doctor to have it reviewed. If there are signs of cognitive impairment, they may recommend further testing.
Common Causes Of Memory Loss
One of the most common causes of memory loss is age. Unfortunately, there isnt much you can do about getting older, but well be looking at things you can do to help treat age-related memory loss later on. There are other common reasons for memory loss. For the most part, these arent permanent and can almost always be effectively managed to get your memory back to normal.
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Short Term Memory Test
A short term memory test is very self-explanatory. The user is shown multiple digits of numbers and asked to remember them. Then, the numbers are taken off the screen and the user is asked to type the numbers they remembered in.;
This test will become more difficult as more digits are added, and digits are continuously added until the user starts forgetting the digits. According to research, the magic number most people remember is “7 plus or minus 2” items. This means an average short term memory can hold 5 to 9 digits.;
Here is the data from the memory test above, with around 5000 results. As you can see, 4 is the most common digit where all the digits are correctly memorized and recalled.;
This form of memory usually doesn’t last more than 18 seconds, unless rehearsed.;
Benefits Of The Clock
The clock-drawing test has these advantages:
- Fast screening tool: It is a very quick way to screen a person for possible dementia. It often requires only a minute or two for completion.
- Easy to administer: It does not require much training to administer.
- Well-tolerated: This test is easier to complete than the MMSE for people with short attention spans.
- Free: Unlike some cognitive tests that require you to purchase a copy of the test and scoring tools, the clock-drawing test can be completed with only the cost of paper and a pen.
- May be useful in developing countries: Because of the low cost and minimal training, this test can be used in countries with fewer resources.
- Screening for delirium: This test has also been administered to patients in the hospital to assess for signs of delirium. Delirium is a sudden deterioration in someones cognitive ability. It can follow the use of anesthesia for surgery, for example, as well as be triggered by an infection or illness.
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Similar Symptoms Of Dementia
A diagnosis of dementia is serious, and therefore its only made if all other causes can be ruled out. This is because other conditions can look like dementia, like kidney or liver diseases, vitamin or iron deficiencies, diabetes, circulatory problems, or chemotherapy.
If lab tests and blood work come back negative, some doctors will also take a brain scan, such as an MRI or a CT scan, just to be sure that the symptoms youre experiencing arent due to other factors like a tumor.
What Is It Used For
Cognitive testing is often used to screen for mild cognitive impairment . People with MCI may notice changes in their memory and other mental functions. The changes aren’t severe enough to have a major effect on your daily life or usual activities. But MCI can be a risk factor for more serious impairment. If you have MCI, your provider may give you several tests over time to check for a decline in mental function.
Screening Tests For Cognitive Impairment
During the initial visit, quick assessment tools can be used as a screening test to help decide whether further evaluation is warranted .1315 One of the following tests should be performed during the initial visit, with further evaluation if the result is abnormal.
Summary of Screening Tests for Cognitive Impairment
Ask patient to name as many animals as possible in 60 seconds
Patient receives one point for each unique animal named
Score < 15 = suggestive of dementia
Consider lowering cutoff score to 12 for persons with one to seven years of education
Consider lowering cutoff score to 9 for persons with no education
Mini-Cognitive Assessment Instrument
Two to four minutes
Three-item recall combined with clock drawing test
Patient receives one point for each correctly recalled word and two points for normal clock drawing test
Score of 0 to 2 = high likelihood of dementia
Score of 3 to 5 = low likelihood of dementia
Three-item recall, eight-item orientation, and backward digit span
Patient receives one point for each correct item, for a maximal score of 16
Score < 14 = suggestive of dementia
Summary of Screening Tests for Cognitive Impairment
What Is The Clock Test For Dementia
The clock test is a non-verbal screening tool that may be used as part of the assessment for dementia, Alzheimers, and other neurological problems. The clock test screens for cognitive impairment. The individual being screened is asked to draw a clock with the hour and minute hands pointing to a specific time. Research has shown that six potential errors in the clock testthe wrong time, no hands, missing numbers, number substitutions, repetition, and refusalcould be indicative of dementia.
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What Causes Dementia To Progress So Quickly
Dementia symptoms are typically mild at first and progress over time to moderate and then severe, over several years. The speed as which dementia progresses varies between individuals, but some factors can cause dementia to progress more quickly. These include the persons age, the type of dementia, and other long term health problems. Dementia tends to progress more slowly in people over 65 compared to younger people below 65.
How To Use Sage To Detect Alzheimers
The latest study concerning SAGE evaluated its effectiveness;as a cognitive screening assessment tool in community settings. Researchers evaluated over 1,000 participants over the age of 50 from 45 community events. The scores on the test range from 22 indicating normal cognition ;to 15 signifying mild cognitive impairment ;and a score below 14 may indicate the presence of dementia.
The study found that when the test was given to its participants from over 45 different events:
- The average score for SAGE was 17.8%
- 71.6% of the people that took the test had normal cognition
- 10.4% had mild cognitive impairment
- 18% had dementia
The;study concluded that the exam;is an internally consistent test that is very well balanced, with cognition, language, memory and visuospatial domains. Though, researchers admit there are some limitations to using SAGE in a community setting. First, participants must be able to read, write and see to take the exam. Also, in a large community setting, participants may be less likely to follow up with their physician for a formal evaluation.
Researchers hope that by establishing the exam as a way to effectively test for cognitive impairment, people will be diagnosed earlier, seek treatment options earlier and ultimately slow the progression of the disease.
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