Veltkamp Neuropsychology Elderly Couple Photo Call (360)676-7445 for an Appointment Call (360)676-7445 for an Appointment

Adult Evaluations

Some loss of cognitive function is normal as we age, including declines in processing speed, name retrieval, and facets of memory and learning. However, subtle changes in word-retrieval, recall of new information, or a decline in multi-tasking ability can highlight early brain changes. A neuropsychological evaluation is often combined with neuroimaging (MRI of CT scan) to help your physician identify possible areas of decline and/or concern.

Some adults are more interested in understanding their long-standing cognitive strengths and weaknesses, such as diagnosing a possible Attention/Deficit disorder. While there are many causes for adult attention/concentration difficulties, a careful history and review of childhood records (i.e. report cards) as well as history information from parents and spouses can help reveal long-standing cognitive weaknesses that can then be treated pharmacologically.

When significant personality changes, memory dysfunction, and/or word-retrieval problems become evident, the question of a possible dementia-syndrome arises. Since the 1990s there have been dramatic changes in the accuracy of dementia diagnosis with improvements seen not only for Alzheimer’s disease (AD), but also many of the other non-AD conditions. Simultaneously, better detection and differential diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment (MCI), a condition that often represents an early stage of a specific degenerative or cerebrovascular condition, is now possible. One of the major reasons for these improvements is that research is helping to reveal specific roadmaps for the detection of each of these conditions, while at the same time devising systematic approaches to rule out potentially treatable non-degenerative etiologies for cognitive impairment. As a behavioral syndrome, the diagnosis of dementia depends on a skillful mental status evaluation and the documentation of decline in multiple cognitive domains. Dr. Veltkamp must distinguish dementia from normal aging, age-associated cognitive impairments, mild cognitive impairment, amnesia, delirium, aphasia, and other focal cognitive syndromes.