Forgetting things at times is nothing out of the ordinary. You may forget a person’s name whom you just met or misplace the car keys you put somewhere a while ago. A minute degree of memory problems and a modest decline in other cognitive skills is a natural consequence of aging and is not considered abnormal.
Related: Lewy Body Dementia Vs Alzheimer’s
However, not all memory problems are a natural result of aging, as some are caused by severe memory disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease or other treatable conditions. This makes it essential to consult a healthcare provider to get a diagnosis if you are facing memory problems and get appropriate care.
But what kind of doctor should you consult if you have memory problems? This guide answers this very question.
Which Healthcare Provider is Recommended for Memory Problems?
There are several kinds of doctors you can consult with if you are facing memory disruptions, including neurologists, primary care physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and others. Finding the right medical professional can be tedious, so you can choose from the following dementia-particular specialists according to your symptoms and medical requirements.
Geriatricians are family practitioners or primary care internists specializing in the complex medical problems of old age. These professionals offer specialized care for all the medical needs a more senior person may have, which may or may not be related to memory problems.
Geriatric psychiatrists specialize in older individuals’ emotional and mental needs by conducting comprehensive thinking, memory, sleep, and mood evaluations. Therefore, they are highly suitable for diagnosing memory problems that may stem from family conflict, life stress, excessive drinking, anxiety, or depression.
Behavioral neurologists specialize in various cognitive problems – including memory loss – and can detect minute brain injuries that may be causing memory problems, such as infection or a minor stroke. They also conduct comprehensive cognitive and neurological examinations to diagnose a patient’s condition and prescribe a suitable treatment.
Certain other medical professionals conduct specialized cognitive tests for memory loss but require a referral to do so. These include the following:
These professionals conduct thorough memory testing upon referral from a primary care physician.
Nuclear Medicine Doctors and Radiologists
These professionals perform particular brain scans that can help diagnose the causes of memory problems.
Consultant pharmacists check a patient for signs of harmful drug interactions.
Generally, a superspecialist – such as a geriatric psychiatrist, a behavioral neurologist, or a geriatrician specializing in dementia or other memory problems – is the most suitable choice if you are experiencing memory complications. Suppose you cannot get appointments with these professionals, or your insurance does not cover their visits. In that case, your second best option is consulting with a specialist such as a psychiatrist, geriatrician, or neurologist recommended by your primary care physician.
All memory problems are not because of severe memory disorders such as Alzheimer’s; some may result from treatable conditions such as stress or anxiety. Therefore, you do not have to be afraid to discuss your symptoms with your primary care physician. Although they might not be able to offer you a diagnosis, they can help you get one by recommending you to a neurology specialist. They might also know your medical history well enough to detect any changes, rule out particular possibilities for your memory problems, or look into other possible causes immediately.
You can also opt for memory centers to attain professional care, as memory disorder clinics specialize in diagnosing, testing, and treating memory-related complications. American board-certified and fellowship-trained professionals at NeuroX can also help you by offering top-notch psychiatric and neurological care at your doorstep! Head over to NeuroX to learn more.