About the Intake Interview

The Penn Memory Center specializes in research and clinical care for adults age 65 or older experiencing memory problems. We are one of approximately 30 nationally recognized Alzheimer’s disease centers (ADCs) whose mission it is to conduct research to better diagnose and treat memory loss related to Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. Clinically, we treat people with mild to moderate memory impairments. If eligible, you or your family member will be asked to participate in our ongoing clinical trials or research studies.

If you are under age 65 and have a family history of Alzheimer’s disease, we ask that you first see your primary care physician or neurologist about your memory problems. If your doctor feels that your problems may be due to Alzheimer’s disease, then we will ask him or her to make a referral to the Penn Memory Center and to provide notes from your visit.

Due to the nature of memory loss, we require that every patient be accompanied to every visit by someone who knows them well, such as a spouse or partner, adult child, or other close relative or friend who can provide reliable information about the patient’s memory problems.

If you:

    • Are 65 years of age or older
    • Are experiencing mild memory problems
    • Are willing to consider participating in research
    • Can have an MRI of the brain
    • Have someone to accompany you to every visit

…then please call 215-662-7810 and press #1 to schedule an initial evaluation. An intake counselor will call you within three business days. If he or she does not feel that the Penn Memory Center is the best fit for you, he or she will make an appropriate referral within the health system.

About the new patient experience

To schedule an evaluation call 215-662-7810. Please do NOT email or use the contact form on this site to schedule appointments. We do apologize, but we do not and cannot respond to email requests for appointments. Please call the number above (215-662-7810) to schedule an appointment.

The new patient experience at the Penn Memory Center consists of two appointments; an initial comprehensive evaluation visit, approximately 90 minutes in length, followed approximately four to six weeks later by diagnostic follow up visit, approximately 60 minutes in length.

A family member, or someone who sees the patient regularly and knows him or her well, is strongly encouraged to attend both visits. This person can provide important input to a proper assessment of the patient.

The initial evaluation visit includes:

Cognitive testing
Our psychometric testers use “paper and pencil” tests, oral questions, and sensory and other measures to assess memory, language, perception, and concentration.
A thorough exam and history
The patient undergoes a neurological examination, and the physician gathers information on the patient’s history, symptoms and current problems from the patient him- or herself.
Ideally, a family member or other close associate of the patient will be present to meet with the physician separately, and provide additional information on the patient’s history and current cognitive issues.
Preliminary Results
Your physician, patient, and family member meet as a group to discuss the preliminary findings of the visit.
Orders for additional laboratory testing and imaging
The physician will explain the purpose of additional diagnostic studies, such as brain imaging, that may be ordered at this time.

About the diagnostic follow-up visit

Within several weeks of the initial evaluation visit, (after results of cognitive, laboratory and/or other testing and exams such as MRI have been received) a one-hour diagnostic follow-up visit is held.

At this time, the physician and a health educator will review with the patient and family the results of all testing and other diagnostic measures. He or she will explain the diagnosis and how it was reached. He or she will also outline a treatment/care plan as needed, and answer patient and family questions.

Following the physician consultation portion of the visit, the patient and family will meet with dedicated members of our care team, who provide ample patient and family education, counseling, and support at this visit. A comprehensive take-home packet of information on the diagnosis, related topics, and research studies for which the patient may be eligible is provided. Information on particular Penn Memory Center classes, groups, or other offerings which may be helpful is also made available.