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Memory Problems

Alzheimer's Assessment

Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) is the most common cause of dementia among people age 65 and older. Dementia is the loss of memory, judgment, and language to such an extent that it interferes with a person’s daily life and activities. It is estimated that up to 4 million people now have Alzheimer’s Disease. For every 5-year age group beyond 65, the percentage of people with AD doubles. More than 34 million people are now age 65 or older - 13% of the total population of the U.S. and the number is only increasing as the “baby boomers” reach 65. In addition, the group of people over 85, the group with the highest risk of Alzheimer’s Disease, is the fastest growing segment of the population. By 2050, 14 million older Americans are expected to have Alzheimer’s Disease, if the current numbers hold and no preventive treatments become available.

Alzheimer’s Disease begins slowly. The first symptom is usually mild forgetfulness. In this stage people may have difficulty remembering recent events, activities, or the names of familiar people or things. They may have difficulties with simple math problems and balancing a checkbook. As the disease progresses, symptoms are more easily noticed and become serious enough to cause people with AD or their family to seek medical help. For example, in the middle stages of AD people may forget how to do simple tasks, like brushing their teeth or hair. They can no longer think clearly, have problems speaking, understanding, reading, or writing. Later on, people with AD may become anxious or aggressive, or wander away from home. Eventually, patients need total care. Therefore, an early, accurate diagnosis of AD helps patient and their families plan for the future. It gives them time to discuss care while the patient can still take part in making decisions. Early diagnosis will also offer the best chance to treat the symptoms of the disease and significantly delay their negative effects.

The only definite way to diagnose AD is to find out whether there are plaques and tangles in brain tissue and this can be done only at autopsy. Therefore, doctor’s can only make a diagnosis of “probable” or “possible” AD while the person is still alive. Doctor’s use several tools to diagnose “probable” AD, including medical tests, brain scans, and questions about a person’s general health. Additionally, tests of memory, problem solving, attention, and language aid in determining accurate diagnosis and establishing a baseline level of cognitive ability in order to track the course and progression of symptoms. The neuropsychological evaluation consists of a series of tests that assess different areas of mental functioning such as memory, attention, and concentration. The neuropsychologist may ask you to remember a short story, say the meaning of words, or memorize designs and draw them from memory. We also work closely (with your consent) with your medical doctor to ensure you receive multi-disciplinary care.

Sunshine Psychology: Providing psychological and educational testing, neuropsychological assessment, and surgery evaluation services
along with individual, couples, family, and career counseling and therapy in Miami Beach and Coral Gables.

Psychoeducational Testing   ADD / ADHD - Learning Disability - Academic Problems - Gifted Placement / IQ - Behavioral Problems
Comprehensive Evaluations   Neuropsychological Assessment   Dementia - Alzheimer's - Memory Problems   Surgery Evaluation
Individual Counseling   Depression - Anxiety - Relationships - Hypnosis/Meditation - Addictions - Phobias - Stress - Grief and Loss
Gay/Lesbian Concerns - Trichotillomania   Couples Counseling   Marriage - Divorce - Infidelity - Sex - Communication   Family Counseling
Career Counseling

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