Tuesday, February 2, 2016
Neuropsych Eval 2016
Lyn is undergoing a new neuropsych evaluation this week. The clinician who is performing it specializes in Alzheimer's patients and the intellectually disabled. This is the evaluation Mom started trying to line up for Lyn months ago and that we had given up on due to lack of response.
Monday was the first day of the evaluation. Today will be the second day. If it is determined that a third session is needed, that will happen tomorrow.
Yesterday's session lasted for an hour and a half. Mom describes it as an intense collection of background information, primarily focused on Lyn's health and biographic history. The clinician asked about everything from where Lyn was born (Italy), where she graduated from high school (Montana) to what medication she currently takes for any condition (surprisingly little). Lyn was able to recall where she was born with confidence. She recalled one word of the name of the high school. She couldn't tell the doctor where my family lives. When the doctor commented that Lyn clearly had a sister, the statement was followed up with the question of "Do you have any other siblings?" Lyn's prompt response was "No but I have a brother!"
The doctor asked about the previous evaluations, MRIs and other tests. Mom is to bring in all of those reports with her today if she hadn't previously included them. Mom had included some of the test results but the doctor is interested in more. Mom also provided the write up of changes that have been noticed over the past year written by Lyn's speech therapist and me.
Today, Lyn will work with the doctor's assistant and the assistant's therapy dog named Ruby. Mom's not sure what kind of dog Ruby is other than furry and highly trained. Lyn was very happy to learn that Ruby would be involved. They took a few minutes to introduce Ruby to Lyn yesterday which was very well received.
The topic of medication was addressed in depth. The clinician acknowledged it would be years before a treatment for early on-set Alzheimer's or an effective Alzheimer's treatment is available at all. Mom stated that knowing the currently available Alzheimer's medications neither slow nor stop the progression of the disease, Lyn would not be a guinea pig to see what side effects she would have with no hope for a beneficial result.
So, while the time yesterday was spent in a conversational tone, the questions were clearly calculated to help the doctor gauge Lyn's ability to respond as well as her ability to recall information from various points in her life.