Ask the Experts
Memory & Dementia Assessment & Treatment
Private Memory Clinic in Shrewsbury
Highly Qualified Experts
Bespoke personalised Service
Worried about memory loss?
Do you feel that your recent memory is not as good as it could be? This may be due to a condition called mild cognitive impairment or dementia.
Do you feel your memory is affecting your day-to-day function? This may be due to dementia.
Serious memory loss is not a part of normal ageing. Ten per cent of people over age 65, and half of those over 85, do develop memory and thinking problems.
Why should I have my memory tested?
It can be difficult to be objective about your own memory. Some people think they have a poor memory, but testing shows it to be normal, and this can be reassuring.
Some people are worried their memory is getting worse and testing may confirm there is memory impairment. Identifying memory impairment early allows the potential for early intervention.
Alzheimer’s disease, the most common type of dementia, can now be diagnosed much earlier in the Prodromal phase than in the past. Or it could be Mild cognitive impairment and early diagnosis will help manage your life better.
Not all memory problems are due to dementia. Many medical conditions like thyroid, certain vitamin deficiencies and mild depression or delirium can all manifest with memory problems. Many of these are treatable.
At Paragon Memory Clinic, following a thorough examination by an expert in this field, we can help with the correct diagnosis and treatment.
What is Mild Cognitive Impairment?
Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) means having cognitive abilities (memory and thinking skills) that have become worse than “normal” for your age. However, unlike dementia, your memory will not be so bad to stop you from daily life tasks such as managing finances or cooking a meal.
In other words, the impairments can’t be bad enough to meet the criteria for dementia. In dementia, your cognitive skills will have declined to the point that independence in common daily life tasks is compromised.
If you’re concerned about your memory, it’s important that you do not just assume it’s MCI. Instead, you’ll want to have your thinking skills assessed by a clinician. At the Paragon Memory Clinic, you can find out if your difficulties fall within the range of “normal age-related changes” versus being worse than normal, which is a criterion for having MCI.
So what if I have dementia?
There is no cure for dementia, unfortunately. However early diagnosis will help you get the right support to live well with dementia.
At Paragon Memory Clinic, we offer treatment based on NICE (National Institute for Clinical Excellence) guidelines and meet the best international standards.
We will also advise you on the most recent developments, the latest therapies even if they are not available on the NHS, and any research projects that you may benefit from.
Step 1: Dementia Screening and pre-assessment
You will see the nurse practitioner who will
- Take a detailed history of your memory problems
- Carry out a dementia screening assessment
Based on the results of the assessment, there can be two outcomes:
- No concerns of a memory problem – in this case, you can be reassured that there is nothing to worry about based on the history and screening test. We will give you a copy of your results to discuss with your GP if you wish.
- A suggestion that further investigations (Blood tests and Brain MRI scan) and a consultation with a specialist dementia consultant is required to come to a definitive diagnosis In this case, you will be given two options:
- a. NHS REFERRAL: A letter to your GP advising that you be referred to the NHS hospital to see a consultant for further investigations.
- b. PRIVATE OPTION AT PARAGON CLINIC: if you decide to proceed with further investigations and consultations privately, Paragon clinic will arrange for your blood tests and MRI brain scan to be done privately followed by a private consultation with Dr. Kumararatne for an in-depth assessment based on various cognitive tests.
Step 2: Private Dementia investigations (Blood tests and MRI Brain Scan), consultation and diagnosis
Various deficiencies can mimic symptoms of dementia and a panel of blood tests can help with the diagnosis. Paragon clinic will arrange a private blood test. If after the initial screening assessment you decide to proceed with the full package, we can arrange to take the bloods on the same day.
MRI Brain Scan:
We have tied up with MRI providers who use the latest protocols specific to dementia. The scans are studied and reported privately by Dr. Ramalingam, who is a consultant neuroradiologist specialising in neurodegenerative dementia related conditions at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham.
Your private MRI scan can be performed within a couple of weeks from your screening assessment.
Once we have all the results, we will invite you to see Dr. Kumararatne, a very senior consultant psychiatrist specializing in memory assessments and dementia treatments.
This consultation will take about 2 hours at Paragon Clinic in Shrewsbury in a very relaxed and comfortable setting. It is best if you are accompanied by a close relative or friend who can comment on observations they have made about you.
You will then undergo a detailed cognitive assessment through various specialized tests. This will be done at your pace without any pressure, and with as many breaks as you need, making the experience as pleasant as possible.
Unlike NHS and many private clinics where these tests are delegated to nurses, at Paragon Clinic Dr. Kumararatne likes to personally administer these tests as she feels it is important for her to observe and interact with the patient to get the complete picture regarding your cognitive function, especially if the symptoms are mild.
Dr. Kumararatne will co-relate all the clinical tests with the blood and MRI brain scan reports to come to a diagnosis.
More than 95% of patients will be able to get a confirmed diagnosis at this visit, either of dementia or Mild Cognitive Impairment, and if you are fortunate, a confirmation that all is well and that you do not have dementia.
If a diagnosis of dementia is made, you will be informed if this is Alzheimer’s disease or one of the other types of dementia. Dr. Kumararatne will start medical treatment immediately, discuss a post-diagnostic support plan and write to your GP.
About 5% of patients may have more complex issues that would need further investigations like a PET scan, an in-depth memory test by a psychologist or they may need to see a neurologist. Paragon Clinic and Dr. Kumararatne can guide you through the process. Additional fees apply for these services, but we can also liaise with your GP to arrange these on the NHS if appropriate.
Step 3: 6-week follow-up to review medication and repeat prescription
Once Dr. Kumararatne has made the diagnosis following the two visits and all the tests, there is no need to see a consultant psychiatrist again. Your GP is best placed to manage your care holistically and can arrange to continue with further prescriptions and follow up on the NHS.
If, however you have difficulty accessing your GP to provide this, we can arrange a private GP consultation at a cost of £99.
There are many clinics providing dementia services – How do I choose the best?
Paragon Clinic Memory Assessment Service raises the bar in providing a world-class personalized dementia diagnostic and treatment service.
At Paragon Clinic, ….
You will be seen by a CONSULTANT psychiatrist whose speciality is dementia diagnosis.
You can be reassured that at Paragon Clinic, you will only see a consultant with extensive experience in this field. You can read more about Dr. Kumararatne below.
At Paragon Clinic, we believe in a holistic approach to the diagnosis of dementia.
You will have an MRI brain scan which provides the best images, unless there is a particular reason you cannot have one.
Your MRI Brain scan will be reported by a specialist neuroradiologist who also specializes in dementia.
If your reporting radiologist is not an expert in this field, subtle changes in the brain related to dementia can be missed.
At Paragon Clinic, we have tied up with Dr. Ramalingam, a consultant neuroradiologist specialising in neurodegenerative and dementia-related conditions at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham.
About your Psychiatrist
Dr. Geetha Kumararatne
Consultant Old Age Psychiatrist
Dr. Kumararatne is a Consultant Old Age Psychiatrist with more than 20 years of experience in issues related to the mental health of older people. She has special expertise in the assessment and diagnosis of dementia in people of all ages. She is currently a consultant at the Black Country Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and medical lead for the Dudley Dementia Service.
Working in the Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Foundation, Worcester Dementia Service and Walsall, Dr. Kumararatne completed both core and speciality post-graduate psychiatry training in the West Midlands.
She has extensive experience working in old age psychiatry inpatient units, Community and Dementia Service within the Trust and has been involved in training future generations of specialists in Old Age psychiatry.
Dr. Kumararatne was instrumental in developing neuroimaging and antidementia medication prescribing guidance for Primary care in Dudley CCG.
Dr. Kumararatne is a member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists. She maintains close professional links with fellow neurology and neuroradiology colleagues at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham through regular multidisciplinary team meetings to discuss complex cases.
She also has been an external examiner for undergraduate Clinical examinations at both Keele and Birmingham medical schools.
- Assessment, Diagnosis and treatment of dementia and Anxiety, Depression, psychotic presentations in adults.
- Assessment and treatment of behavioural and Psychological Symptoms in Dementia.
Recommendations to DVLA following diagnosis of dementia.
- Mental Capacity Assessments for court of Protection and Lasting Power of Attorney.
- When Dr. Kumararatne is not with patients, she enjoys winding down with interior designing and gardening.