How it Works - Assessment
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU BOOK
Our Assessment PROCESS
Diagnosing dementia and identifying the type is challenging. It requires a combination of tests, specialist medical expertise, as well as input from the patient or caregiver.
To diagnose the cause of the dementia, a specialist doctor must recognize the pattern of the loss of skills and function and determine what a person is still able to do. More recently, additional tests have become available to make a more accurate diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia.
The American Association of Neurologists emphasizes the importance of early diagnosis, as it can help with identifying reversible forms of cognitive impairment and help physicians with monitoring certain conditions.
No single test can diagnose dementia, so our doctors are likely to run a number of tests that can help pinpoint the problem. At Isaac Health, we go through a set of simple steps to get to a diagnosis.
Cognitive and Neuropsychological Tests
We will evaluate your thinking ability. A number of tests measure thinking skills, such as memory, orientation, reasoning and judgment, language skills, and attention. A mental health professional can determine whether depression or another mental health condition is contributing to your symptoms.
Doctors evaluate your memory, language, visual perception, attention, problem-solving, movement, senses, balance, reflexes and other areas.
Brain scans and laboratory tests
CT or MRI. These scans can check for evidence of stroke or bleeding or tumor or hydrocephalus. PET scans. These can show patterns of brain activity and whether the amyloid or tau protein, hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease, have been deposited in the brain. Simple blood tests can detect physical problems that can affect brain function, such as vitamin B-12 deficiency or an underactive thyroid gland. Sometimes the spinal fluid is examined for infection, inflammation or markers of some degenerative diseases.
Diagnosis and treatment planning
Your doctor will discuss your diagnosis with you, as well as the best treatment options available. See our page on treatment for what some potential options may include.
DIFFERENT FORMS OF DEMENTIA
Lewy body dementia is a progressive neurodegenerative disease caused by the deposition of abnormal proteins, called alpha-synuclein, in the brain. The alpha-synuclein clusters result in chemical changes in the brain, leading to symptoms such as abnormal movements, difficulty with thought process, and behavior.
Sometimes it is difficult to diagnose this type of dementia since the symptoms overlap with Alzheimer’s and schizophrenia symptoms. The abnormal movements are similar to those in Parkinson disease, and so this is considered a “Parkinson plus” syndrome. Therefore, evaluation by memory disorder and movement disorder specialists can help reach the correct diagnosis.
Research has shown that almost half of dementia cases are potentially preventable by addressing known risk factors. These include both general health factors, environmental factors, medication, and mental activity. At MyIsaacHealth.com we will guide you to identify the risk factors most relevant to you and help you address them. We will also help you boost cognitive function through memory training and coaching. In isolated cases, certain medications may be indicated to control risk factors or boost cognitive function.
While there is a pipeline of potential medications to slow disease progression, there is currently limited medical treatment available. However, there are a few classes of drugs available to slow cognitive decline. See our section on treatment for details. In addition, cognitive interventions, such as cognitive stimulation therapy, has been shown in many cases to be as effective as medications in slowing cognitive decline, building cognitive reserve, and developing compensatory techniques to support living with cognitive decline. Finally, addressing risk factors and maintaining a high level of social and brain activity are the great ways to protect yourself.
Our care team consists of Neurologists, other brain health doctors, psychologists, speech-language therapists, memory coaches and care coordinators.
While in many cases a family physician or neurologist may have sent you our way, you are welcome to sign up without a referral
If your have health insurance, most of our services will be covered under the terms and conditions of your policy. For prices without health insurance, please see our packages.
Our prevention program is available everywhere. We offer all services in New York, North Carolina, and Florida. Individual services are available also in other States – please feel free to call us for advice.
We chose the name “Isaac Health” because it reminds us of three things: one of the most influential brains in human history (Sir Isaac Newton), the longest-lived Biblical figure (Isaac, who lived to 180 years old), and that he name “Isaac” literally means “one who laughs or rejoices”. Our name represents what we ultimately hope to achieve for the people we serve through our mission to promote and preserve brain health: a long, fulfilling life with many moments of genius and joy.
Your question is not covered here? Please contact us.