There are different types of memory tests and examinations that help determine the possible cause of memory problems.
Treatment of incipient memory disorders is generally started with memory examinations used to determine memory symptoms. For example, early signs of Alzheimer's disease usually include problems with short-term memory that are surveyed by memory tests and examinations. A professional examines the state of memory through memory tests, discussion and surveying the memory-related symptoms with the customer, and recording the customer's exact prior information.
When should I have my memory examined?
- if you suspect or those close to you suspect memory impairment
- if your memory problems are progressing, you are forgetting important things more frequently or you are experiencing gaps in your memory
- if your functional capacity or ability to cope with everyday life is impaired for an unknown reason
- you experience changes in your personality or behaviour
- you experience a state of confusion, for example in connection with surgery or infection
- even in the case of mild memory problems, we recommend having your memory examined, especially if you have a family history of memory disorders
CERAD Memory Test
The CERAD (Consortium to Establish a Registry for Alzheimer's Disease) memory test is a series of memory research tasks that provides information on whether or not there is reason to suspect an emerging memory disorder such as Alzheimer's disease. The test is used as part of the diagnosis of memory disorders.
The CERAD series assesses cognitive functions; immediate and delayed memory, perception, linguistic fluency and basic functions such as naming things and visual memory through drawing tasks.
At Mehiläinen, memory examinations are carried out by specialised nurses, psychologists and specialists (neurologists and geriatricians). No referral to a CERAD memory test is required, and the duration of the test is approximately 30 minutes.
MMSE Memory Test
The MMSE (Mini Mental State Examination) is a short and concise memory and information processing screening test that can be used to distinguish between people with healthy memory or mild memory disorder and people with moderate or severe memory disorder. On its own, it is used mainly to monitor the progress of a memory disorder that has already been diagnosed. It is also part of a broader series of CERAD tasks that can detect even milder forms of memory disorders.
MOCA Memory Test
There is a very short and concise MOCA (Montreal Cognitive Assessment) test to screen for memory and information processing disorders.
A more in-depth evaluation of memory and information processing can be obtained by a neuropsychological examination, which takes a few hours. Based on this neuropsychological memory examination, the neuropsychologist prepares a statement and describes the situation. The examination is often necessary when investigating mild memory symptoms or, for example, when assessing the work ability of a person of working age.
Imaging in memory disorder examinations
Imaging (usually MRI) is always necessary when examining a suspected memory disorder. The aim is, on one hand, to find signs of (even milder forms of) memory disorder and, on the other hand, to rule out other possible causes of memory and information processing impairment, such as normal pressure hydrocephalus (a disorder of the cerebrospinal fluid) or chronic subdural haematoma (a gradual subdural haemorrhage in the brain).
Imaging may not provide support for the diagnosis of all memory disorders, but even then it is necessary to rule out other causes of memory impairment. In addition, there are specific imaging techniques (such as PET and SPET) that can be used to examine, for example, the circulation and metabolism of the brain, which may display signs of certain memory disorders.