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Memory symptoms Assessment Questionnaire

Questions Your Doctor May Ask - and Why!

During a consultation, your doctor will use various techniques to assess the symptom: Memory symptoms. These will include a physical examination and possibly diagnostic tests. (Note: A physical exam is always done, diagnostic tests may or may not be performed depending on the suspected condition) Your doctor will ask several questions when assessing your condition. It is important to openly share any pertinent information to help your doctor make an accurate diagnosis.

It is also very important to bring an up-to-date list of all of your all medical conditions, medications including dosages, and names of numbers of any specialist you see.

Create your printable checklist by answering questions that your doctor may ask below:

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  1. How long have you had problems with your memory?

    Why: to determine if acute or chronic. If onset is rapid and symptoms have been present for hours to weeks must consider delirium as possible cause of memory problems. Delirium is an acute confusional state due to many causes e.g. infection, drug intoxication, alcohol withdrawal, liver failure, kidney failure, hypoxia, low blood sugar, stroke, heart attack or head injury. If the onset is slow and insidious and memory problems have been present for months to years a diagnosis of dementia, psychiatric illness or intellectual disability may be more likely.

  2. Is there a simple, everyday cause of memory problems?

    Why: e.g. tiredness, pregnancy, being a new mother, general anxiety, grieving.

  3. What is the age of the person with the memory problems?

    Why: memory and concentration ability does gradually reduce with age. Age- associated memory impairment (AAMI) is the normal forgetfulness of aging.

  4. At what time of the day are the memory problems worse?

    Why: e.g. if symptoms are worse in the late afternoon and at night delirium ( acute confusional state) is most likely. Dementia -type symptoms and acute psychosis have minimal variation over the course of 24 hours.

  5. Has deterioration with memory been step-wise?

    Why: suggests multi-infarct dementia.

  6. Is there insight concerning the memory problems?

    Why: patients with cerebral arteriosclerosis (e.g. stroke), depression or AIDS notice their memory slipping whereas patients with Alzheimer's disease are unaware of their memory loss.

  7. History of head injury?

    Why: may suggest subdural haematoma, extradural haematoma, concussion or posttraumatic epilepsy.

  8. Are you pregnant?

    Why: pregnant women frequently complain of forgetfulness.

  9. Have you been bitten by a tick?

    Why: may suggest Lyme disease.

  10. Medications?

    Why: certain medications may cause intoxication e.g. anticonvulsants, anticholinergics, anti-anxiety medications, opiates; or may cause forgetfulness or confusion on drug withdrawal. Medications that may cause forgetfulness as a side effect include tranquilisers, hypnotics, benzodiazepines, sedatives and anxiolytics.

  11. Risk factors for stroke?

    Why: e.g. high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, smoking, family history - can assess risk of multi-infarct dementia.

  12. Family history?

    Why: e.g. Alzheimer's disease, Huntington's disease, multiple sclerosis, depression, pernicious anemia, lupus erythematosus, migraine.

  13. Alcohol history?

    Why: to assess chance of alcohol withdrawal, alcohol abuse, Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, hepatic encephalopathy, subdural or extradural haematoma due to head injury.

  14. Illicit drug use history?

    Why: some illicit drugs may cause memory loss e.g. amphetamine, marijuana, cocaine, LSD, PCP. Marijuana use may cause short-term memory loss problems for several weeks.

  15. Sexual history?

    Why: may determine risk of HIV and syphilis infection which may cause cognitive impairment with memory loss.

  16. Possible poisoning?

    Why: e.g. carbon monoxide, chronic barbiturate intoxication, heavy metals such as lead, mercury and manganese. Certain shellfish poisoning may cause permanent short-term memory loss.

  17. Headache?

    Why: may suggest brain cancer or acute stroke.

  18. Psychotic symptoms?

    Why: e.g. delusions, hallucinations and disordered thinking - may suggest an alternative diagnosis of schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. However these symptoms may occur in dementia.

  19. Fever?

    Why: can suggest any infection that may cause delirium or meningitis, encephalitis, brain abscess or brain hemorrhage.

  20. Symptoms of dementia?

    Why: e.g. impaired memory, impaired judgement and thinking, impaired verbal fluency and impaired ability to perform complex tasks. Personality may change, impulse control may be lost and personal care deteriorates.

  21. Symptoms of depression?

    Why: Depression may exhibit many of the features of an early dementia, especially memory impairment, slowed thinking and lack of spontaneity.

  22. Symptoms of stroke?

    Why: e.g. limb weakness or paralysis, facial muscle weakness or paralysis, difficulty with speech and swallow.

  23. Symptoms of Huntington's disease?

    Why: e.g. relentlessly progressive course of dementia, chorea (continuous flow of jerky movements, flitting randomly from one limb or part to another), personality change ( especially irritability), epilepsy.

  24. Symptoms of Parkinson's disease?

    Why: e.g. coarse hand tremor most marked at rest, rigidity of limbs, slowness in initiating and executing movements and speech, expressionless mask-like face and dementia.

Conditions listing medical symptoms: Memory symptoms:

The following list of conditions have 'Memory symptoms' or similar listed as a symptom in our database. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.

Select from the following alphabetical view of conditions which include a symptom of Memory symptoms or choose View All.

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Conditions listing medical complications: Memory symptoms:

The following list of medical conditions have 'Memory symptoms' or similar listed as a medical complication in our database.


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