When you start to realize you are suffering from memory lapses and significant memory loss, it’s time to see a doctor for some neurological exams. By assessing your mental state and memory with neurological exams, a doctor can accurately diagnose any short-term or long-term issues you may be experiencing with your memory.
There are many tests that doctors use in order to diagnose memory loss issues and disorders. The most common way of diagnosing issues caused by memory loss – such as Alzheimer’s Disease, Huntington’s Disease, and Parkinson’s Disease, among others – is by testing you with a CAT scan or an MRI. This shows the doctors how your brain is functioning and can sometimes be the only test they need in order to diagnose a disorder or mental illness.
In some cases, doctors will use an Abbreviated Mental Test Score (or AMTS), especially in the elderly. This is more for confusion and dementia and covers simple questions that should be stored in one’s long-term memory. The AMTS focuses on the patient’s ability to recall data, such as the year of their birth, their name, etcetera. Another test, the Mini-mental Status Examination (or MMSE), is used with patients that are coherent enough to participate in repeating words, and tests them on their attention, calculation skills, and orientation.
In addition to the AMTS and MMSE, there are some other tests that doctors may use in certain circumstances, such as a Sternberg Memory Scan or the California Verbal Learning Test (or CVLT). No matter how your doctor decides to determine and diagnose your disorder, it is important to trust that your doctor is competent in figuring out what is causing your memory lapses and memory loss.