RSS Feed Print
Posted: Thursday, December 5, 2019 9:13 PM
Joined: 12/5/2019
Posts: 1

We are just starting this journey. Our neurologist wants my spouse to see a neurophysiologist but I understand that it is a full day of tests,is exhausting and very stressful. Can anyone tell me of their experience with this and was it worth the stress.?
Posted: Friday, December 6, 2019 4:08 AM
Joined: 3/6/2017
Posts: 2261

Neurophysiologists are sometimes the go to for people who have TBI, stroke or nerve issues.

Could it be you were referred to a neuropsychologist/neuropsychiatrist for cognitive testing? These generally include a day of cognitive performance test that are much more in depth than the quick and dirty MMSE or MoCA. Often this kind of testing is used tease out what form of dementia a person has as it gets very specific in the areas affected which can impact which drugs might be helpful and which should be avoided. The results can be useful for staging and I know families who needed the report in black & white to get siblings on the same page or as the basis of guardianship.

My dad's neurologist did not order testing for dad when he was diagnosed in mid-stages with mixed dementia. I disagreed with his take on things. Dad tended to do remarkably well on MMSE and MoCA; he got an "average" (for a college graduate his age) score on MoCA in his psychiatrist's office a year before he died. Never mind that 5 minutes after we left the doctor's office, as I handed in the valet ticket and he bragged about how smart he was, he got into someone else's car at the valet stand scaring the little old lady driving it. I think it would have helped my mother prepare mentally and act as a caregiver  if she knew just how sick he really was.
Posted: Friday, December 6, 2019 11:24 AM
Joined: 11/9/2019
Posts: 40

neuropsychological testing is what my DH just had.  It took about 2 1/2 hours but can sometimes take 4 hours.  I think it depends on how fast they are able to do the test.  From the results he was diagnosed with dementia (not what kind, but most likely Alz).  This was in the last month.
Rescue mom
Posted: Friday, December 6, 2019 12:05 PM
Joined: 10/12/2018
Posts: 1523

I don’t recall exactly,  but DH tests took 1-3 hours, over several days, with several specialists with similar names. I don’t think he could have done a full day, although he did not seem to find it stressful at all, but they seemed to realize those limits.

The fuller testing was  EXTREMELY useful. DH then could bs his was through the 20 questions or so, tests like a PCP does.  DH would smile and nod, use a couple stock phrases like “who cares?” (Always smiling), or some  jokey non-answer, the  PCP gave him more “credit” on those prelim tests. It took the longer questions, more conversation, and scans to show how much he’d lost and was no longer able to grasp. 

The Dx was “probably Alzheimer’s” which they said they felt sure was AD but they just won’t say that. The scans later showed significant atrophy/loss, very obvious.

They still remarked on how good his social skills were, compared to how much he’d lost in other areas.  They said a person in a quick encounter (like his PCP, and yes I’m still irritated about it) could be fooled. Now it’s more obvious, this was more than a year ago.


Michael Ellenbogen
Posted: Friday, December 6, 2019 3:34 PM
Joined: 11/30/2011
Posts: 3345

MMine took a day in a half. Part of the problem  was my slowness to process.
caregiving daughter
Posted: Sunday, December 8, 2019 5:34 PM
Joined: 11/27/2012
Posts: 2131

It was very worth it. Physician was able to give a probable diagnosis and provided daily living recommendations in writing. These folks are expert at this testing. Yes, mom had difficulty and it frustrated her. The doctor sees though when a patient struggles and they adjust the testing. Differentiating between the types of dementia can be very helpful.
Posted: Sunday, December 8, 2019 11:42 PM
Joined: 11/13/2018
Posts: 150

About 4 years ago my DW was tested on that 4 hrs long testing by neuropsycholgist due to memory problems.

On the first test, it took about 4 hours, and at the end DW was exhausted. The results came back as MCI (Mild Cognitive Impaired)

Two years later the same test was done, this time the results showed increased loss of memory, and the Alz word was used in the results.

A year later again the same test was given, but this time they stopped it after just 15 minutes. She had done so poorly with the testing that they said she wasn't able to go on. At that point Alz was classified as the source and she was about stage 5-6.

Within a year she had declined to the point I had to have 3 caregivers for half a year, and then she entered MC, and is there now at stage 7. Been there for 7 months.

The tests did two things. Cleared a fast track into MC.

 Next, the Long Term Care insurance policy went into effect with out any red tape or delay.

So my take on it, is do the testing to get a base line and then followup to see the rate of decline.








× Close Menu