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How Do You Evaluate Memory Loss?

When an individual begins to show signs of memory loss, a physician’s greatest challenge is often discovering the underlying cause of symptoms. Behavioral evaluations (including self-report questionnaires such as MoCA and MMSE, effort-based computerized testing, and psychological evaluations) and laboratory tests (such as APOE genotyping and biochemical labs such as blood, urine, and CSF analysis) can be useful in developing a diagnosis in cases of advanced symptom presentation1. But how useful are these tools in assessing cases of early memory loss? Are they capable of detecting dementia early, before disease advancement, so that the physician has the opportunity to implement a successful treatment intervention?

by DYLAN J. CHADWICK

Where does the average patient turn for medical advice? Well, between loaded online forums and databases, advice from friends and those dubious late-night infomercials touting miraculous benefits in "just 30 days;" health-conscious consumers have a wide spectrum of options, all claiming to help them manage their conditions. While all physicians hope that their patients seek trusted health authorities in their health matters. The reality is that the waters of what is and what isn't actually medicine gets cloudy for many patients.