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Quick links to Evaluations:

Cognitive Evaluation

In combination with your evaluation by the Movement Disorders Program, you may be asked to undergo a cognitive assessment to assist  with diagnosis, monitor medication effects, provide other treatment recommendations or as part of a surgical evaluation. This evaluation (also called a neuropsychological assessment) is done at the University of Michigan Neuropsychology Clinic, located at 2101 Commonwealth Rd, Suite C (off of Plymouth Road, just west of US 23).

These evaluations are requested to help movement disorder specialists understand how the different areas and systems of the brain are working. The testing is comprehensive and covers such things as thinking skills, memory, attention, visual-spatial, and reasoning abilities as well as behavior and emotional changes that can be affected in a movement disorder.

Testing involves taking paper-and-pencil or computerized tests and answering questions. The testing session will generally take 3-4 hours, depending on the reason for the assessment. Some tests will be easy, while others will be more difficult. The most important thing is try your best.

Bring glasses and hearing aids if you use them and we strongly encourage a family member to accompany you to the appointment. You will probably find testing interesting and the detailed information that is gathered will contribute to your care.

If you have any questions please call the Neuropsychology Clinic at 734-763-9259.

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Speech Pathology Evaluation

When a patient comes to the speech-language pathology clinic, located on the first floor of the main hospital, they will be seen by a speech-language pathologist specializing in movement disorders. The speech-language pathologists are certified and provide clinical care, participate in clinical research, and teach other healthcare professionals at the University.

The speech pathologist will obtain a medical history including information about a patient’s current speech, language, swallowing changes, other medical problems, current medications, and family history. Tests to assess speech and language skills, and if necessary,  swallowing skills will be administered. An audiotape will be made.

The speech pathologist will then discuss findings, provide communication and if necessary, swallowing recommendations and discuss the plan. A family member or friend is encouraged to accompany the patient to the evaluation.

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MRI Evaluation

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) provides physicians with a method of visualizing your internal body structures, including the brain. MRI involves a powerful but harmless magnetic field and radio waves like the kind that transmit your favorite FM music. The combination of radio waves and magnetic field produces very clear images of body structures such as the brain, spine, knee, kidney, liver, blood vessels, heart and other important structures.

Your scan will be performed in a room containing a MRI machine. The MRI unit looks like a large box with an open-ended tunnel running through the middle. You will be asked to lie on a comfortable, padded table that is gently moved into the opening of the magnet where the scanning is performed. The data from the scan is fed into computers which turns it into pictures that the physician will use to make a diagnosis.

While the great majority of people can undergo an MRI exam with no problems, some cannot. The radiologist or the staff at the MRI center will probably ask you questions like the following:

You should allow about two hours for your MRI exam, although most scans take an hour or less. Unless your doctor or MRI department tells you otherwise, you can eat normally the day of the exam. Don't wear any makeup, since some brands contain metallic components. When you arrive at the MRI center, which is located on floor B2 of University Hospital, you will be asked to put on a patient gown and to remove all personal possessions such as your watch, wallet and car keys or metallic items such as dentures, pins, etc. It's very important not to take anything that could be affected by a magnet into the examining room. For example, the information on your credit cards will be erased if you have them in your pocket during the exam.

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