My husband received a letter today (Saturday) to say he has an appointment with a trainee neurophychologist on Monday (I can only assume it got lost in the post as it hasn't left much time for us to make arrangements!)
Does anyone know if this is the point where a final diagnosis gets given, or are there generally a whole load of more tests to come?
To date he has had one set of memory tests and an MRI scan which showed 'mild atrophy of the brain'- but the doctor said it was only mild and she couldn't completely rule out that it wasn't a normal level of shrinkage expected in a 58 year old. She put him on Aricept on the basis that she didn't want to wait 6mths to see if things got worse before prescribing medication.
She did say that his memory tests were 'not terrible' but did show worrying blanks in his memory (particularly with personal history), which she would expect to find in an 80 year old, but not a 58 year old.
I read somewhere that neuropsychologists also do the same sort of memory tests that hubby has already done. I've also heard that this is so the results can be compared to previous tests - either to back up what was found before - or show any improvement since he has been using Aricept (which in itself is confusing because as for as I know, Aricept merely slows down the progression of dementia and therefore improvement is not expected )
I (and hubby) are somewhat confused by the whole situation. The word Alzheimer's has not been used yet - just the words 'early onset dementia' (and I am not even sure if that is an official diagnosis, as opposed to them 'hedging their bets' because they think it is the best thing to go with for now until more conclusive tests have been done).
The appointment letter says hubby can bring someone along for the interview (though obviously not for the tests themselves) as this will help them get a picture of what my husband is like and in what ways he might have changed, and any possible causes.
There is a space on the back of the leaflet for about 6 questions - but to be honest I have a lot more than that rattling around in my head!
I don't want to take over the appointment asking all the questions - but equally my husband is a quiet man and the sort that doesn't generally ask doctors or medical professionals questions himself. Maybe he doesn't want to know the answers, so I feel worried that I might cause him pointless worry by being too direct with my questions at the interview.
Maybe at some point down the line I will get a chance to talk privately with one of the experts, I have no clue how this all works!
Sorry to rattle on - just needed a sounding board!