The Dr has set up an appointment for Dad. Of course when they called him to schedule he said he did not need that. So they called me. I have not told him about it yet, but has anyone dealt with this?

I took my LO to see a Neurologist when she first got dementia. Her primary had just diagnosed her with significant Vascular Dementia, but, I thought it better to get a full work up, tests, etc. just to make sure that it wasn't something like a brain tumor.

The neurologist was one that focused on dementia cases. He gave her a physical exam, did reflex tests, and did a mini mental evaluation in the office. He also ordered an MRI and a Neuropsychological evaluation. But, her case was so severe that he diagnosed her with dementia right then and there. He said that he wasn't sure what was causing it though, so, he ordered the other tests. (At this visit, she had a positive Babinski reflex! I watched and saw it happen and though, I wasn't that familiar with dementia, I knew that that reflex was something that infants have. I was shocked!)

She was diagnosed with Vascular Dementia.

To help your dad feel more comfortable, I'd remind him that there are many things that cause memory and balance problems. Sometimes, they can be treated and really helped.
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Reply to Sunnygirl1

Fortunately my mother was agreeable to the appointment at Memory and Brain Wellness center at our university.

I will tell you one thing that might help with your Dad. The initial neurologist we say emphasized that it was good to get a work-up because sometimes you find something treatable. And in my Mom's case we did, something called Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus (NPH), which can cause dementia and problems walking. Unfortunately Mom didn't turn out to be a candidate for the treatment (a brain shunt), but many people are and are basically cured.

I'm not saying at all that this is what your Dad has, but I did want to emphasize that sometimes they find things that are treatable and help with the memory. And maybe telling your Dad that will make him more agreeable to going.

As to what to expect: For us there was an initial consult (about an hour) with a neurologist. He did initial tests on memory. Then he ordered other tests. My Mom had already had an MRI, so that wasn't needed. But there was an ultrasound test of the arteries leading to the brain, and another electro something or other for the brain. The main test was a complete neuro-psych evaluation (many hours long). Getting all these tests done took months (waiting lists and all that).

At the end of all the tests there was another consultation with the neurologist, where he told us about the NPH diagnosis. The tests pretty much eliminated Alzheimers (Mom's memory problems present differently than most Alzheimers), and vascular dementia. We then proceeded along the path of investigating treatment for the NPH.

Mom found all the testing annoying, but went along with it. And we are so glad we had it done because now we know what we are working with. NPH is different than Alzheimers is different than Vascular Dementia is different that Lewy Body, and so on and so on.

Good luck.
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Reply to chdottir