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FUNCTION – If you or a loved one has concerns about memory loss or other unexplained behavioral changes, it is an important first step to get an expert opinion from your family doctor to understand how it goes on.
Medicare Offers A free yearly wellness visit for anyone over 65 years of age where patients can request a brain health assessment. However, if you do not visit your family doctor frequently, he may not know you well enough to determine if you have cognitive changes.
To help, the Alzheimer's Association has created a list of five questions that individuals or family members answer Members may ask the doctor to make sure that the visit is productive and that patients receive the proper guidance.
- Do I (or the patient) have any medical conditions that could increase my risk of developing Alzheimer's disease or any other form of dementia?  Do I take any medications that might cause memory problems or cognitive symptoms?
- What tests could you perform to rule out Alzheimer's or dementia as a diagnosis?
- Do you know my family history – especially in the immediate area? Family (grandparents, parents, or siblings) associated with Alzheimer's or dementia?
- Should I be worried about … (explain any changes in memory, focus, thinking or mood)?
"This is a good starting point for a productive conversation with your family doctor," said Ronnie Daniel, managing director of the Utah Chapter of the Alzheimer's Society, in a press release. "I would suggest writing these questions along with any other specific concerns or examples you may have. There can be a number of reasons for memory loss and personality changes. It is therefore important that you seek advice from your doctor as soon as possible.
For individuals who have immediate questions, the Alzheimer's Association has a free, 24-hour hotline staff of trained professionals who can provide advice and assistance: 800-272-3900. Information can also be found on the website of the association.