What is memory?
Memory is the ability to take in, store and retrieve information. There are several processes or steps involved in forming and recalling memories.
What can affect memory?
Forming memories rests on the ability to attend to or concentrate on the information to be remembered. A number of conditions can impact attention and concentration and thereby impair memory functioning. These conditions include depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder and attention deficit disorder. Treatment targeting these conditions typically resolves the memory problem as concentration and sustained attention improve.
Since the beginning of the COVID 19 pandemic, effects on cognitive functioning have been well documented. Recently, ongoing cognitive deficits including impaired memory following recovery from COVID are recognized as part of the long COVID syndrome. Brain injuries can also impair memory through their impact on the physical structure of the brain. Typically, recovery occurs over time, and rehabilitation techniques can facilitate regaining memory functioning. In these cases, memory assessment can be useful in identifying where to target rehabilitation efforts.
Progressive memory impairment is the defining feature of dementia. While we do not yet have a cure for dementia, early identification and treatment can slow the progress. For individuals who may be at risk of developing dementia (for example due to a family history of Alzheimer’s Disease), a measurement of memory functioning can provide a valuable base line for the purpose of monitoring and early intervention if needed.
Campanula Psychological Services conducts memory assessment using one of the most commonly used neuropsychological tests and one has been used in over 5000 published research studies. This instrument provides measures of attention and concentration, as well as immediate and delayed recall. When memory impairment is present, this assessment instrument can distinguish between attention deficits, difficulties retrieving learned information, and deficits in forming memories, allowing for targeted interventions.
Memory assessment can be administered through teleconference providing the test taker has technology with clear audio. The standard administration time is about 90 minutes. A brief initial interview, and a follow-up meeting to review the written report are also part of the assessment process.
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