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Psychiatrist vs Consultant

Bobthebuilder

New member
Oct 13, 2021
2
0
Hi all, my Dad has just been diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s (he is 64) and we want a second opinion. The only thing is that I am baffled by who does what. He was diagnosed by a psychiatrist but when I research online it appears that there are a number of neurologists who specialise in Alzheimer’s. Can anyone shed any light on who we should be seeing? Thanks so much
 

Lawson58

Registered User
Aug 1, 2014
2,555
0
Victoria, Australia
Hi all, my Dad has just been diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s (he is 64) and we want a second opinion. The only thing is that I am baffled by who does what. He was diagnosed by a psychiatrist but when I research online it appears that there are a number of neurologists who specialise in Alzheimer’s. Can anyone shed any light on who we should be seeing? Thanks so much
My husband has been seeing a geriatrician who diagnosed him over seven years ago. There has never been any suggestion that he should see a psychiatrist and I am not sure how one would have been of any continuing assistance. The geriatrician referred him to the memory team and a neuropsychologist and was involved in the assessment.

He prescribes his medication and sees him every six months for the MMSE test and has a chat with me for any further informatio.
 

Izzy

Volunteer Moderator
Aug 31, 2003
65,279
0
70
Dundee
Welcome to the forum @Bobthebuilder.

I live in Scotland and where I live diagnosis and assessment is done by the staff at a psychiatry of old age facility, which is essentially the memory clinic. . It was a consultant psychiatrist who finally gave us the diagnosis. It was a psychologist my husband saw on a six monthly basis. She did the MMSE tests and got me to complete the questionnaires etc. He never saw a neurologist.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
15,702
0
South coast
My OH has seen neurologists for decades as he has had epilepsy since a child, although he has more recently started with cognitive decline. In my experience I would say that most neurologists are pretty clueless about dementia and would not be able to offer support - there are some notable exceptions, though. Usually, in England diagnosis is made by the memory clinic and Im not sure what speciality the doctors have. It might be worth finding out who is involved in your memory clinic and asking for an appointment with the consultant. Whoever you go for, though, make sure that they specialise in cognitive problems and dementia of all types.

Mind you, if your dad has never been seen in the memory clinic, you could ask for a referral there. Everyone is entitled to a second opinion and you may not have to pay for that.
 

Cazcaz

Registered User
Apr 3, 2021
146
0
Mum had a brain infection years ago, so has regularly been seen by a neurologist . I think it was a neurologist who gave us her diagnosis.
 

Emmcee

Registered User
Dec 28, 2015
114
0
Hi all, my Dad has just been diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s (he is 64) and we want a second opinion. The only thing is that I am baffled by who does what. He was diagnosed by a psychiatrist but when I research online it appears that there are a number of neurologists who specialise in Alzheimer’s. Can anyone shed any light on who we should be seeing? Thanks so much
I can only comment on what I have experienced, having worked in Scotland, NE England and South Africa. Neurologists are commonly involved if the person is below the age of 65. Over that age, some people will be referred to a service that specialises in care of the elderly and others will be referred to a psychiatry of old age service - both of which should have a multi-disciplinary approach and are quite capable of assessing & diagnosing. The psychiatry of old age service is, however, generally more experienced in dealing with people who are having more specific difficulties with their mental health e.g. challenging behaviour, anxiety or symptoms that do not fit into the more frequently seen causes of dementia. Much seems to be dependent upon the GP who does the intial referral.