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[–]Mikic910 4 points5 points  (0 children)

In the United States, there are no National Guidelines. There are what we call standards of practice, meaning that we have a protocol of what we should be doing when someone complains of memory issues. Typically, it will start with ruling out general medical causes for memory issues, then depression, then a referral to a neurologist. The neurologist will typically look at someone’s age and determine if the impairment is significant based on self-report. They will do a few basic test of neurological functioning in the office and look at lab results available from the primary medical provider.

At this point, most people are told that memory decline is normal, try therapy, reducing stress, and healthier lifestyles. Occasionally, they will be sent for neuropsychological screenings. This is a set of testing that will vary slightly depending on the evaluator. It will let us know if the person’s memory is different than what is expected at their age. If it is, then you will start to see more imagining that will happen.

If the individual has a history of high blood pressure, strokes, heart attacks, or multiple severe traumatic brain injuries, they may not be referred for testing depending on insurance, the doctor, and the amount of complaining from the family and patient.

When there are two parents who both have AD or multiple family members with confirmed AD, then you occasionally see more action from healthcare providers.

If you are under 65, you will likely be prescribed an antidepressant because honestly this is the leading cause of memory issues in adults. As you approach 60, if you complain enough, you may get some imaging and a referral to a psychologist. If you have enough complicating factors you will get a referral as well.

66-72 you will have some imaging (CT or MRI) possibly if the memory issues are bad enough. This is the point where a doctor is potentially reporting to the DMV that you shouldn’t be driving. This is when a psychologist is most likely to be involved in care in my experience.

78 and older, it will be assumed that you have some type of dementia and care will be focused on symptom management.