If you or a loved one is experiencing changes in memory or thinking, a neuropsychological evaluation at the Ray Dolby Brain Health Center at CPMC can help find the cause of the problem and outline treatment options.
Many factors can play a role in memory changes, including normal aging or dementia due to Alzheimer’s disease. Some causes of memory changes, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes, are not connected to dementia, and can be treated with medication and lifestyle changes.
Neuropsychology is the study of brain and behavior relationships. An evaluation typically includes:
- A review of your medical history
- An interview with you and another person who knows you well (such as a family member, close friend or caregiver)
- Tests that measure your cognitive abilities and mood
Our neuropsychology evaluation is tailored to you and includes tasks that assess thinking skills, such as memory, attention, information processing speed, language, executive functioning and higher-order reasoning, and mood. Your test scores are compared to scores from people who are like you in important ways. By using databases of scores from large groups of healthy people, we can assess whether or not your test results are normal for your age and educational background. We can then examine the pattern of your scores to determine whether there has been a change in cognitive abilities and what might be the underlying causes.
You will receive a comprehensive report that includes recommendations to help you in your daily life. Many people who have an initial neuropsychology evaluation later return for a follow-up evaluation, which we can compare to prior test results and record any changes.
A typical neuropsychological evaluation at the Ray Dolby Brain Health Center can take approximately three to four hours, so please plan accordingly. In a typical evaluation session, you will be able to take regular breaks.
What you can do to prepare for your evaluation:
- Eat before you arrive.
- Bring a snack to eat during a break.
- If you wear a hearing aid or eyeglasses, bring them with you.
- Get a good night of sleep the night before.
- Allow enough time to get to your appointment.
- Take your prescribed medications as you normally do, unless your doctor has told you otherwise.
- Bring a list of your current medications and any pertinent medical records from outside the Sutter Health system.
- Please have family member, friend or caregiver accompany you to the appointment. Often, these support people can provide helpful information during the interview to help us better understand your situation.
The Ray Dolby Brain Health Center is located at CPMC's Davies Campus, 45 Castro St., Suite 220, San Francisco, CA 94114. For more information, call (415) 600-5555 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.