If you're going to see a doctor about a brain-related ailment, here are five important questions to ask.
If I suffer a brain injury, what are the potential future complications?
Concussions can cause brain damage that isn't evident right away and can also lead to epilepsy. People who have one stroke are at higher risk for another. Aneurysms that have been repaired can re-rupture. Ask your doctor if there are any symptoms that could indicate a worsening of your underlying condition.
Are there any supplements that might help me?
Research is ongoing about how herbal, vitamin, and mineral supplements affect all kinds of medical problems. Find out if any studies have shown promise for your particular condition.
Can I continue to drive?
Driving can be dangerous for epileptics because they can lose control of the car during a seizure. Each state has different rules about epilepsy and driving. Consult your state-based Department of Motor Vehicles to learn how a diagnosis of epilepsy can impact your driving rights. Dementia and Alzheimer's disease patients may also lose coordination and other skills necessary for safe driving. Your physician can prescribe specific tests to evaluate whether an individual is safe to drive.
How should I plan for future care?
Alzheimer's disease and some kinds of dementia are incurable, and cognitive decline will eventually get worse. If you have been diagnosed with Alzheimer's, it is a good idea to make your treatment plans and other wishes known before symptoms progress too far.
Where can I find additional support for my condition?
Dealing with a disease and recovering from a stroke or concussion can be stressful and frustrating. Depression and other emotional disorders are common in people with dementia and after a stroke. Building a support network is important. Ask your doctor for information on mental health professionals and support groups.
Ready to talk to a doctor? Learn all about neurologists, who specialize in treating brain disorders, or find a neurologist in your hometown.