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If you or a family member is scheduled for an evaluation at Sarasota Memorial Memory Disorder Clinic, you may have questions about what's involved. Following are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.

What happens during the initial evaluation?
Before the initial evaluation, our clinic staff will collect information regarding your medical history, medications and symptoms. We can collect this information by mail or by having you download and complete the assessment forms on this page. The doctor uses this information as a basis for the clinical evaluation. The first visit begins with a short series of cognitive screening tests, followed by a meeting with the doctor to review your history and complete a physical exam. If the doctor orders additional testing, we will schedule it at that time.

What additional testing might I need?
The doctor might need lab work to rule out rare causes of memory trouble, brain imaging to evaluate the structure of the brain, or a neuropsychological assessment to understand the strengths and weaknesses of brain function.

How long will the evaluation take?
The initial visit takes approximately one hour. If lab work or brain imaging are ordered, we will schedule those appointments at your convenience. Neuropsychological testing can take several hours, and is typically scheduled for a whole morning or afternoon. On rare occasions, evaluations can take an entire day or more. When all testing is complete, our clinical team reviews the results and creates a full report for you and your primary care physician. The whole process can take 30 days or more.

Do I need to bring anything?
Bring your medications. Dress comfortably and bring reading glasses and hearing aids if you use them. The office can sometimes get chilly, so bring a sweater.

What will my final report look like?
We send a detailed report to your primary care doctor, the doctor who referred you for evaluation and other doctors whom you wish to receive results. The Memory Clinic staff will meet with you and your family to explain the results and answer any questions before we send the report to your doctor. We encourage patients to bring family to this meeting or have them available by phone to hear the results and ask questions. The final report will include medical information and recommendations regarding care, safety and community resources.