Memory Clinics- What Do They Do?
Summerfield Memory Assessment Centre offers assessment for people suffering with memory difficulties.
The aim is to give a diagnosis or explanation for the memory problems.
Our specialist team consisting of a Specialist Consultant Psychiatrist and experienced Registered Mental Health Nurses who specialise in dementia diagnosis speak to the patient and family members and go through a full medical history to identify patterns in how the memory loss developed.
Memory testing will assess how the brain is functioning. Our team will be using ACE III examinations. This specialist test looks at five areas of cognitive functioning, Attention, Memory, Fluency, Language and visuospatial processing.
Along with assessments Summerfield Memory Assessment Centre will complete an ECG and blood tests and arrange for a brain scan.
Memory Clinic Treatment
If a diagnosis is given then there are treatments available, these medications currently available have been shown to slow the progression of symptoms.
Memory Clinic Follow Up
Reviews will be arranged following diagnosis, assessing the memory function using memory tests to see how the brain is functioning compared to before.
Treatments can be monitored to see if they are working and monitor problems like side-effects.
Summerfield Memory Assessment Centre will undertake ‘Memory tests’ look to assess how well the brain lobes are functioning.
In dementia certain areas of the brain are commonly effected early on, these areas tend to affect certain aspects of brain function.
Various test are carried out to determine the brain’s functional ability including:
- Addenbrooke’s Cognitive Examination – third edition (ACE-III) – a general exam testing most aspects of the brain function
- Attentional Capacity – using part of RBANS
- Language – RBANS naming subtest
- Memory -using RBANS : this is split into verbal and visual memory and is simply the ability to recall words and figures
- Motor Speed – DKEFS : testing the brains processing speed
- Objection perception/Visuo-spatial functioning – using part of RBANS : drawing tests are used for this part
- Test of Premorbid Functioning (TOPF) : determines how your functioning may have been beforehand so that we can see how noticeable the changes have been
- Executive Functioning – initiation of activity using ACE-III : the ability to perform a simple staged task requested by the person performing the test
- Executive Functioning – Cognitive Flexibility (DKEFS) : this is the ability to switch attention during a verbal task
- Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ)
- Generalised Anxiety Disorder Scale (GDS)
Dr Chandrashekar Basavaraj
A consultant psychiatrist on the GMC specialist register in old age psychiatry Dr Chandrashekar Basavaraj has special recognition of his experience in dealing with mental illness in the elderly admitted on medical/surgical wards (Liaison Old Age Psychiatry endorsement). Dr Basavaraj works in Cwm Taf University Health Board in South Wales and teaches/trains junior doctors and medical students locally (Cardiff university).
Dr Basavaraj has mastered specialist skills in assessment, diagnosis and medication treatment of dementia, anxiety, depression, phobias and psychotic disorders in the elderly. His approach towards assessing older people is friendly and open. Due to the lack of information and taboo associated with mental illness and dementia Dr Basavaraj believes in a collaborative environment, allowing carers sufficient time to ask questions and express concerns during assessments.
Dr Basavaraj is approved under Section 12(2) of the mental health act 1983 as having special experience in assessment and management of mental disorders. He carries out fitness to drive assessments in conjunction with a psychologist and makes recommendations to DVLA regarding a person’s fitness to drive post diagnosis of dementia. Dr Basavaraj prepares Court of Protection (COP3) documents enabling patients to identify and formalise a Power of Attorney to make decisions about their finances and health.
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