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Confusion, Memory Loss, and Altered Alertness - Preparing For Your Appointment

To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Making the Most of Your Appointment.

You can help your doctor diagnose and treat your condition by being prepared to answer the following questions:

  • What are your symptoms?
    • When did they begin?
    • Did they begin suddenly or come on gradually?
    • Do your symptoms fluctuate or come and go?
  • Do you have other symptoms with the confusion, memory loss, or decreased alertness?
  • Have you had these symptoms before? If so, what was the diagnosis? When and how were your symptoms treated?
  • Are you on a special diet? What do you eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner?
  • Have you had any recent head injuries?
  • What prescription or nonprescription medicines do you take? Bring a complete list of all your medicines to your appointment.
  • Do you often feel extremely sleepy during the day?
  • Have you or another family member ever had a mental health problem, such as depression or an anxiety disorder?
  • Have any of your family members been diagnosed with a disease that causes confusion or memory loss, such as Alzheimer's disease or Huntington's disease?
  • Have you been ill or hospitalized recently?
  • Have you recently traveled outside of the United States?
  • How much alcohol do you drink? How often? When did you have your last drink?
  • Do you use any illegal drugs? If so, which ones? How often? When did you last use drugs? Do you swallow, inhale, or inject the drugs?
  • Do you have any health risks?

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: July 31, 2013
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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