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Some people will notice slowing in their memory and thinking as part of normal ageing. Memory changes can also happen in times of stress, medical illness and psychiatric illness (e.g. during periods of depression and anxiety).

When these changes worsen over time and begin to impact on day to day functioning, an assessment of memory and thinking may be appropriate.  If you are worried about dementia or are noticing memory problems, Dr Hicks can provide assessment and early diagnosis of dementia and other memory related conditions.

Dr Hicks is an Old Age Consultant Psychiatrist who specialises in the diagnosis of dementia and related conditions. Dr Hicks diagnoses, treats and supports adults experiencing changes in their thinking, behaviour or memory. She also supports the carers and family of people with thinking or memory difficulties.

Dr Hicks Provides:

  • Assessment of memory and cognitive decline

  • Neuropsychological testing

  • Diagnosis and management of dementia and related behavioural disturbances

  • Assistance in future planning

  • Capacity assessment

  • Patient and Family/Carer Education and Support

  • Linking with Community Services and Supports

  • Referral to several day programs at Belmont Private Hospital to optimise cognitive, physical and psychological function

Your assessment may include some or all of the following:

  • Psychiatric evaluation

  • Neuropsychological testing

  • Meeting with a family member or support person for additional information

  • Head imaging (CT, MRI &/or PET scanning)

  • Blood testing


What to expect:

Dr Hicks will assess you over several appointments. You will be asked to attend with a carer or family member who may be able to provide additional information about your memory difficulties.

Your first appointment Dr Hicks will involve a comprehensive clinical interview. Dr Hicks will ask questions about your physical and mental health, your cognitive difficulties, the types of medications you are taking and how you are managing day-to-day activities.

If you have not yet had heading imaging (CT, MRI or PET scan) or blood tests Dr Hicks will refer you to have these done prior to your second appointment.

At your second appointment Dr Hicks will complete neuropsychological testing. This will take approximately 1 hour.

Following this you and your family will meet with Dr Hicks to discuss the findings and strategies to manage your cognitive difficulties. This may involve cognitive enhancing medications, repeat cognitive testing and lifestyle modifications.

Early diagnosis is important to determine appropriate treatment needs and to plan for the future. It provides people with a timely opportunity to learn about their condition, understand changes as they occur and to cope with day to day issues of cognitive impairment.


What causes cognitive impairment and memory loss?

There are many causes of cognitive impairment and memory loss. This includes:

  • Mental illness such as Depression and Anxiety

  • Side effects of medication

  • Dementia such as Alzheimer’s disease

  • Medical conditions such as Obstructive Sleep Apnoea and Vitamin deficiencies

  • Neurological disorders such as Stroke, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease

  • Infection

  • Traumatic brain injury

  • Alcohol or drug use

Elderly Woman at Gym
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