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The Out-Patient Consultation for problems to do with Memory was created for diagnosing and supporting patients with complaints of memory loss.
Memory is a cognitive function that determines the functional independence and social participation of individuals. Memory loss may be due to the normal aging process or may be the first signs of serious illness.
An early diagnosis can be decisive in reversing or delaying Memory loss.
MAIN PATHOLOGIES / DISEASES
Memory loss can be due to several causes:
Part of a natural aging process;
It is the main complaint in the most prevalent neurodegenerative diseases (e.g., Alzheimer's Disease; Fronto-temporal Lobar Degeneration);
May be the result of psychiatric problems (e.g., Depression or Anxiety);
Resulting from acquired brain damage (Stroke or Cranial-Brain Injury);
The origin being a metabolic disease, sleep apnoea, biorhythm dysfunction, etc.
Patients presenting the following symptoms should seek this specialized consultation:
Elderly people complaining of memory loss;
Elderly people who seek to prevent memory loss and wish to continue a healthy aging process;
Patients in the pre-clinical stage of dementia, predominantly the geriatric population, with memory problems in their daily activities;
Patients with a diagnosis of dementia who seek specialized follow-up;
Patients with a family history of dementia who are already experiencing mnemonic difficulties or who seek an early diagnosis of a dementia-type illness;
Professionals or students (in secondary education or university education) who find it difficult to work or study;
Patients with a history of stroke who experience memory loss and seek rehabilitation;
Patients who have suffered traumatic brain injury complaining of memory loss and are seeking rehabilitation;
Patients with a history of epilepsy (especially refractory epilepsy).
Alterations of Memory may occur together with cognitive deficits, which need laboratory analysis and others in order to reach a diagnosis.
The specialized Memory consultation allows:
Detect if memory difficulties are due to age or may represent signs of illness;
Detect mimetic deficits, or deficits in general cognitive functioning as opposed to a natural aging process;
Assist in the differential diagnosis between neurocognitive disorders;
Differentiate between permanent memory loss (e.g., Alzheimer's) or reversible (e.g., Depression);
Referral to the relevant medical specialty for patient follow-up, eg Neurology, Psychiatry or General Practice;
Create a cognitive training plan, compensatory strategies and family support such as rehabilitation or anti-aging techniques.
MOST IMPORTANT ASPECTS OF THIS CONSULTATION AT THE HPA HEALTH GROUP
During the first consultation, in addition to the clinical interview where an assessment of the severity of the patient's cognitive complaints is evaluated, a number of evaluation tests will also be performed on the patient’s General Cognitive Function and Memory level.
Once a diagnosis is reached, the following can be made available:
Regular cognitive training;
Learning compensatory strategies;
Systematic physical exercise;
Follow up by a Neurologist or Psychiatrist.
These services are available in Portuguese and English.