Frequently Asked Questions
How do I schedule an appointment?
Please call (314) 286-1967 and press option 1 to speak to our scheduling department. We will request that you ask your doctor to send notes from recent visits, recent lab studies, medication lists and reports of any brain imaging (CT scan or MRI of your brain) to our office prior to your appointment. You should request that a CD with the images of any brain scans be sent to our office, or you can bring this with you when you come. Please bring a list of your current medications (or better yet, bring your medications) with you to your visit.
The scheduler told me the next available new patient appointment is in 6 months. That is too long to wait.
We understand that you and your family may be anxious to learn more about your memory problem. We schedule 1 hour new patient appointments so we will have plenty of time to spend with you and your family and learn as much as possible about your memory concerns. Our clinicians are all dementia specialists who also spend time on dementia research and education, so unfortunately we often do have long waits for the next available appointment. If you would like to be seen sooner and are able to come to your appointment with a few days notice, talk to the scheduler about getting on our cancellation wait list. We often have cancellations and can let you know when an appointment becomes available.
Why do I have to bring a family member or friend with me to the appointment? Is that really necessary?
Yes, it is extremely important that you bring someone with you who knows you well. Since we will be meeting you for the first time, we need to hear from someone who knows you well and who can speak about any changes they may have noticed in your memory and thinking as well as how you are functioning at home. We need to understand how your memory and thinking have changed. We can only learn about what is different about you by talking to someone who has known you long enough to be able to tell us what is different about your memory, thinking and ability to do things at home and in the community. Sometimes people are not aware of subtle changes in their memory and thinking. People who know you well can often notice changes that we would not be able to pick up on testing in the office and can help us tell the difference between the first signs of a memory disorder and normal day to day memory lapses.
What if I choose not to bring a friend or family member with me?
We will do all we can to provide the best possible care for you. Sometimes we can call a friend or family member and get information from them via telephone. We cannot provide the best possible care for you if we cannot get the information needed to assess your memory and thinking, so if you refuse to allow us to contact a friend or family member we may not be able to complete the evaluation and may ask you to reconsider this and reschedule your appointment at a later date.
What sort of memory problems do you treat at Memory Diagnostic Center?
We focus primarily on people with dementias, such as Alzheimer’s disease, frontotemporal dementia, vascular dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies and other dementias associated with movement disorders. We see people with unusual types of dementias, or those who have a memory disorder that is getting worse more rapidly than expected. We are happy to assist in diagnosing memory disorders in all patients, but we generally do not manage or serve as the primary treating physicians for those with memory disorders due to mood problems like depression.
How many times will I see the MDC provider?
The number of times you see your MDC provider will depend on a number of different factors. You may see your MDC provider only once and then be followed by the referring doctor or you might be referred to someone who can provide more specialized care (e.g., a psychiatrist for those with depression as the main cause of their memory problems). You may see your MDC provider every 6 months or every year, or you may have more frequent follow-up visits with our nurse practitioner and see your MDC physician at longer intervals.
How do I get into a research study?
There are many opportunities for research studies, both clinical research trials and other studies through the MDC and also through the Knight Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center. If you primarily interested in research studies, especially if you do not yet have memory problems, you should start by contacting the Knight ADRC at 314-286-2683 to see if you might be eligible for research studies there.
I don’t really have memory problems. I am just worried about my memory and want to get a “baseline” assessment. Is center the right place for that?
Not really. If neither you nor your family is worried about your memory, MDC may not be the best place for you. MDC is a clinic that provides care for people with memory disorders. You will complete some memory testing that could serve as a baseline for later, but if you just want a baseline assessment you should consider participating in the long-term studies at the Knight Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center. Call 314-286-2683 to see if you might be eligible for research studies there.
Do you see people of all ages or just older people?
Dementia is much more common in people over the age of 65, so many of our patients are older adults. Dementia can strike younger people, though, so some of our patients in their 40s or 50s. However, it is much more likely for someone in their 40s or 50s to have memory loss due to other causes (mood disorder, stress, medications) than due to dementia, so, for our patients under the age of 60, we may ask you and your doctor some questions about what type of memory problem you have before scheduling an appointment.
How do I know if you accept my insurance plan?
Please call 314-286-1967 and press option 1 to find out. We do accept most major insurance plans.
Will you communicate with my primary doctor about my memory and thinking problems?
We will send a copy of your visit note to your primary care or the referring doctor. Please tell the doctor or nurse practitioner that you see if you would like us to communicate with any other doctors.
I saw the doctor at the Memory Diagnostic Center and now I have some questions. Who should I call?
For questions after your appointment, please call our clinic nurse, Ms. Dawn Ellington. You can reach Dawn at our main number (314-286-1967) by choosing option 2.
What if I need my doctor to write a letter or fill out forms?
Please call (314) 286-1967, press option 3. Please note there will be a $25.00 charge for this service.
What if I need to have my medical records sent to another provider?
Please call (314) 935-0879 to ask for records to be sent to another provider. You can download the Medical Records Release Form.
Can you communicate with my by email or online?
Yes, we can. You can use the “Patient Portal” to communicate with us securely and check lab and imaging results. Please ask for a brochure and enrollment information. This is the most secure way to communicate with us. If you would like to communicate with directly via email, you will need to sign a form that explains the risks to your confidentiality when we communicate via email.