Alzheimer’s and dementia are devastating diseases that affect more than 14,000 Nova Scotians. It is estimated that 937,000 Canadians will be living with dementia in 15 years. True North Clinical Research in Halifax offers free memory testing to help residents stay on top of their memory health.
Routine Memory Tests are a Part of Staying Healthy
Standardized memory tests taken over time allow people to have their memory assessed and tracked in order to have a baseline to compare future memory tests to. Annual testing helps individuals to discover possible memory loss at its earliest stages. Just like people keep track of other health measurements, memory can also be checked periodically.
“At a certain age, people automatically start checking their blood pressure, have breast and prostate exams and start to collect routine blood work to check for certain deficiencies that are common with aging,” explains Nicole Blanchard, Director of Operations for True North Clinical Research. “Memory testing can be included in this list as some memory loss with age is normal, but anything more than that can be detected by having your memory tested annually.”
“Of course,” Nicole continues, “if a person is worried about their memory now, having a memory test done with us can be helpful to understand whether it is perceived memory loss or actual memory loss.”
Memory Testing is Fast and Easy
True North Clinical Research performs standardized tests called the Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE) and the Free and Cued Selective Reminding Test (FCSRT). These tests help to assess the current state of an individual’s memory. If they are performed annually, they can be used to track the progression of an individual’s memory ability.
Memory tests are non-invasive and are quite fast. “The testing only takes about 30 minutes, and the results can be sent, with consent, to a person's family doctor. There is no referral needed - one can simply call or email us and we can usually see them within two weeks,” explains Nicole.
"We've noticed increased anxiety during the pandemic, especially during periods of lock-down," says Dr. Mark Johnston, practicing psychiatrist and founder of True North. "With the anxiety can come concerns about failing memory. I recommend having your memory tested if you have any worries about it. It only takes 30 minutes, and it's free. All it costs is your time."
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed things slightly at True North Clinical Research, though they are still able to support individuals through their virtual memory clinic. Appointments are booked over the phone and testing is done through a video conference on the computer. “Once we are able to resume in-person testing, we have two options - our main clinic or our mobile memory clinics that happen in various locations around our province,” Nicole says.
Memory Clinic Services Offered Completely Free of Charge
True North Clinical Research offers their memory testing services absolutely free of charge. Qualifying participants in the memory clinic are also able to take part in clinical research trials, but there is absolutely no obligation to do so.
True North Clinical Research is committed to helping those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease by finding new treatments that help to improve their quality of life. They are passionate about the ways in which their research can help the aging population.
Individuals interested in True North Clinical Research’s free memory clinic services can contact them by calling 1-855-378-8783 or visiting their website at truenorthcr.com.