When Fading Memory Raises Questions, Neuropsychology Can Point to Answers


"I know there's a lot more in our future around this, too," said Susan Harvell's husband, Dave Baker. "Every day we just get up and do the best we can, and where we end up is in somebody else's hands."

You can have a quick assessment in a doctor's office—and that's good, but it's not as sensitive as the whole battery of tests you get in a neuropsychological evaluation.

-Stanford neuropsychologist Gayle Deutsch, PhD

Susan Harvell's daughter, Claire, can't list specific moments when her mother seemed to be off her game. "It wasn't anything drastic," she said. "She could tell you a million stories about when I was 3 years old, but if I told her I was going to do something, she'd ask me five minutes later if I was going to do something."

Having an answer helps a patient understand more about their prognosis and what's likely to happen in the coming years—and we have a lot of data and understanding about that.

-Stanford behavioral neurobiologist Geoffrey Kerchner, MD, PhD

"Having a garden and a dog is really healthy if you're going through something like this," said Susan Harvell. "I read. I paint. I have things to do. I have great friends."