What are the first steps to address pain-related changes in thinking and judgment?
An evaluation of cognitive functioning is essential with respect to a patient’s ability to perform their job, drive, handle machinery and equipment, manage medications safely, and/or interact socially. It is important to let your pain professional know if you have observed difficulties with thinking or if you have observed changes in your abilities over time. At MHNI a neuropsychologist explores all aspects of cognitive functioning or thinking with the patient. Objective evaluation is warranted if you or a family member are observing errors or changes that interfere with your functioning at home or on the job. As part of your multidisciplinary team, a neuropsychologist will perform a series of tests to understand your cognitive strengths and changes. Your physician will further help to determine if your memory function is impacted by pain, changes in your brain, or your medications. A treatment plan would then focus on strategies that emphasize your strengths and bolster any weaknesses