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What to Expect During Your Visit

It is often helpful to have a family member or friend with you at your appointment to listen and take notes. This is particularly important if you are being evaluated for memory difficulties.

Keeping a list or notebook detailing your complaints, along with questions to bring to your appointment can be helpful as well. When you meet with us for the first time, your past and present health history will be thoroughly reviewed. A nurse or medical assistant with specialized training caring for patients with neurological diseases may ask you about:

  • Past medical and surgical history
  • Current medications: prescriptions, over-the-counter medications and vitamins / herbal supplements
  • Medication allergies
  • Details of family health history
  • Past and present social history, including your current living situation, use of alcohol and tobacco

Your neurologist will review your history and health concerns. It is likely that a detailed neurologic exam will be performed, which includes an assessment of your:

  • Memory
  • Speech
  • Strength
  • Sensation
  • Coordination
  • Walking and Balance
  • Deep tendon reflexes

Upon completion of the history and physical exam, your neurologist will discuss any initial findings and potential diagnoses. Prescription medication may be indicated for treatment of your symptoms. Your neurologist may also recommend additional diagnostic tests, such as:

  • Laboratory blood tests
  • Neuropsychology testing
  • Radiology imaging studies such as:
  • Electroencephalogram (EEG) – to assess for seizure activity
  • Electromyogram (EMG) testing: to assess for nerve and muscle function
  • Polysomnography (sleep study)
  • Lumbar Puncture (“spinal tap”) for cerebrospinal fluid analysis – this it typically performed under X-ray guidance by an anesthesiologist or radiologist.
  • Neuropsychology testing – a series of test given by a clinical neuropsychologist to help clarify a diagnosis when a patient is having cognitive issues such as memory difficulties.

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