The Stanford Center for Memory Disorders is dedicated to the fight against cognitive decline. There are many different causes of memory loss, and an accurate diagnosis by an experienced team is essential to getting the best treatment.
The Center is one of only about 30 National Institutes of Health (NIH) designated Alzheimer’s Disease Centers in the United States, as well as a designated Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center.
What can you do if you are worried about your driving safety or the driving safety of a friend or family member?
It is important to voice your concerns and to discuss the possibility of retiring from driving. This conversation can be difficult to initiate, but don't hesitate to ask for advice from a physician on how to proceed. In addition, the websites listed at the end of this page offer helpful advice.
Concerns about driving safety may be raised by physicians, family members, or patients themselves, and it is very common for there to be disagreement about whether a person's driving skills have changed or what to do next. There are many possible reasons why someone's driving safety might be a cause for concern, such as reaction time, vision, spatial perception, navigation, judgment, memory, language, or arm or leg coordination. Importantly, these reasons may have nothing to do with overall cognitive strengths or with the individual's driving record, which may be perfect. Moreover, the worry may be less about causing an accident than about defending against other bad drivers on the road. It is better to retire from driving before a near-miss or an actual collision leads to shaken nerves, property damage, or—worse yet—injury.
Sometimes, an individual will decide voluntarily, often at the urging of their physician or family members, to discontinue driving. If you need help deciding whether it is time to give up driving, you can ask the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to perform a driving assessment, which usually consists of an in-person consultation, a written test, and a road test. The DMV can exchange a driver's license for an identification card, so that the individual would not have to go without this important picture ID card.
Sometimes, the decision not to drive comes from the state government. California law requires physicians who have diagnosed dementia to report the name of that patient to the Public Health Department. Public health officials will in turn report the patient to the DMV. Only the DMV, after considering the advice of a doctor and the results of a driving test that they may choose to administer, can make a final decision about whether an individual may continue to drive. Although our clinic does not generally advise pursuing an appeal, a patient may request a hearing or investigate other legal remedies.
Susan Harvell's memory lapses signaled early-onset Alzheimer's disease. Getting a clear diagnosis at Stanford has allowed her to plan her future with her family.
Clinical trials are research studies that evaluate a new medical approach, device, drug, or other treatment. As a Stanford Health Care patient, you may have access to the latest, advanced clinical trials.
Open trials refer to studies currently accepting participants. Closed trials are not currently enrolling, but may open in the future.
For your convenience, you may check in for all same-day appointments at the Stanford Neuroscience Health Center through a centralized, check-in desk near the front lobby. In addition to all outpatient services, you also can access onsite pre-surgery consultations at the center.
Call us to make, change or reschedule an appointment.
PREPARE FOR YOUR APPOINTMENT
Bring your completed New Patient Questionnaire, if applicable.
Bring someone who knows you well, such as a spouse, child, caregiver, or close friend to your appointment.
Any patient with a progressive neurological syndrome that includes cognitive or behavioral symptoms is appropriate for referral. The earlier you refer a patient, the better. Patients with mild cognitive impairment may benefit the most from diagnosis and treatment, especially as emerging therapies become available. We see patients for one-time consultations, second opinions, and for longitudinal care.
Stanford Health Care provides comprehensive services to refer and track patients, as well as provides the latest information and news for physicians and office staff. For help with all referral needs and questions visit Referring Physicians.
HOW TO REFER
Call us at 650-723-6469 to refer a patient.
Before we see a patient, it is helpful (but not necessary) to test thyroid function (TSH and T4) and serum B12, and to have obtained magnetic resonance brain imaging.
Any prior brain imaging (films or CD) should be hand-carried to the appointment.
Track your patients' progress and communicate with Stanford providers securely online.