One of the perplexing mysteries about Alzheimer's is what makes certain people contract the disease as well as other forms of cognitive impairment and dementia, while others do not. Before a patient is diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, more than 60 different possible causes of memory loss or dementia are investigated including: certain medications, tumors, diabetes, stroke, depression, decreased vision, hearing loss, heart complications or vitamin deficiencies.
The Wien Center team of professionals provides a comprehensive diagnostic evaluation which includes a thorough interview with both the patient and an informant, focusing on key parts of the history such as the onset of the disorder, presenting symptoms, functional changes, psychiatric symptoms, past medical history, psychosocial factors and family history. Similarly, neurocognitive testing covering areas of attention, memory, executive function, visuo-spatial skills and language is performed. A wide array of diagnostic tools such as high resolution MRI, CT Scan, PET Scan, blood work and EEG, are obtained when appropriate, to complement the clinical evaluation.
What to Expect During Your First Visit
The comprehensive outpatient evaluation usually takes 2 to 3 hours to complete. You will receive a questionnaire via email, fax or regular mail after you schedule your visit. You also may download the questionnaire in English by clicking here. Download the questionnaire in Spanish by clicking here.
This questionnaire should be completed in advanced by a knowledgeable informant with the collaboration of the patient for relevant details. The day of the visit the patient and his/her companion will be interviewed separately and together by different staff members, including a medical assistant, psychometrist, social worker and a neurologist to complete the evaluation. A summary of the evaluation will be discussed with you and your family by the end of the visit and further testing and treatment will be recommended depending on each individual case.
Things to remember for your visit:
- Come with an informant
- Remember to complete the questionnaire prior to your visit
- Bring a list of your medications
- Bring the results of prior testing, neuropsychological evaluations, and brain scans, including the actual images of tests like MRIs, CT Scans or PET Scans done in the past.
Free screenings are available at the center for those over the age of 50. For more information, call 305-674-2543 for an appointment.