Amnesia physical examination
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Patients with amnesia may have variable general appearance depending on the underlying cause of memory loss. Amnesia is largely a clinical diagnosis. Focal examination including vital signs, altered mental status, mini mental status exam (MMSE), Glasgow Coma Scale, nystagmus, papilledema, gait, instruments of daily activities should be assessed.
Appearance of the Patient
- Patients with memory loss could appear completely normal or may present with cognitive impairment, signs of head trauma, alcohol abuse.
- It is crucial to assess vital signs repeatedly and compare Glasgow Coma Scale scores in intervals for patients with recent history of head trauma with or without loss of consciousness.
- Vital Signs should include assessment of heart rate, blood pressure, oxygen saturation, and temperature.
- Skin examination of patients with memory loss is usually normal, signs of head trauma should be assessed.
- HEENT examination of patients with amnesia is usually normal. Abnormalities to be observed includes:
- Neuromuscular examination of patients with amnesia depends on the underlying cause.
- Patient's orientation to persons, place, and time should be determined.
- Altered mental status
- Glasgow coma scale
- Mini-Mental Status Examination (MMSE)
- Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MOCA)
- Instruments of Activities of Daily Living (IADL)
- Muscle rigidity, abnormal gait
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