Preparing for your appointment

By Mayo Clinic Staff

You'll probably first bring your symptoms to the attention of your family doctor, who may refer you to a doctor trained in dementia — usually a doctor trained in brain and nervous system conditions (neurologist) or mental health conditions (psychiatrist).

Because appointments can be brief, and because there's often a lot to talk about, it's a good idea to be well prepared for your appointment. Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment, and what to expect from your doctor.

What you can do

Plan ahead and write lists of important information, including:

  • Write a detailed description of all your symptoms.
  • Make a list of all medications, vitamins or supplements that you're taking.
  • Write down questions to ask your doctor, such as what tests or treatments he or she may recommend.
  • Take a family member or friend along. A family member or close friend may tell your doctor about symptoms you may not have noticed.

What to expect from your doctor

Your doctor is likely to ask you and your spouse, partner, or close friend a number of questions about:

  • Changes in your memory, personality and behavior
  • Visual hallucinations
  • Medications you're taking
  • Your history of stroke, depression, alcohol abuse, head trauma or other neurological disorders
Apr. 17, 2013