Preparing for your appointment

You may start by seeing your primary care doctor. He or she may refer you to a neurologist. You may want to take a family member or friend along, if possible, to help you remember information and for support.

What you can do

To prepare for your appointment, make a list of:

  • Any symptoms you're experiencing, including any that may seem unrelated to the reason for your appointment
  • Key personal, family and social information, including any major stresses or recent life changes
  • All medications, vitamins, herbs or other supplements you're taking, and the dosages
  • Questions to ask your doctor to make the most of your time together

Some questions to ask your doctor include:

  • What is likely causing my symptoms or condition?
  • Are there other possible causes?
  • What kinds of tests do I need?
  • What treatment approach do you recommend?
  • For how long will I need to be treated?
  • What can I do to reduce the risk of my symptoms recurring?
  • Should I see a specialist?
  • If I need to take medications, what are the main side effects?
  • Is there a generic alternative to the medicine you're prescribing?
  • Are there any brochures or other printed material that I can have?
  • What websites do you recommend?

Don't hesitate to ask other questions during your appointment.

What to expect from your doctor

Your doctor will likely ask you a number of questions. Be ready to answer them to reserve time to go over any points you want to spend more time on. Your doctor may ask:

  • What are your symptoms?
  • When did you first notice these symptoms?
  • How have your symptoms changed over time?
  • How do your symptoms impact your ability to function?
  • What do you think may be causing your symptoms?
  • Have you been diagnosed with any other medical conditions or mental health problems?
  • Do you use alcohol or recreational drugs? How often?