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Unexplained memory disorder (P.S.)

F. Frank LeFever flefever at ix.netcom.com
Mon Aug 2 23:44:24 EST 1999

Is it a memory problem or an "oppositional" problem?

I tell you "clinical neuropsychologist" and you tell me "memory
researcher" or "neurologist" or "neuropsychiatrist".

It's as if you said your car had an "transmission" problem, and when I
asked whether you had seen an auto mechanic you saied, "yes, I've seen
carpenters, masons, electricians, everybody!  My car's problem is a
mystery nobody can solve!"

Neurologists are good if you have a problem with something below the
brainstem, or perhaps something above if it is an obvious and
well-known syndrome.  Neuropsychiatrists are good if you have some
well-recognized organic condition that involves "psychiatric" symptoms.

Both will make a diagnosis based on a brief interview and review of
your history (itself a product of a few brief interviews?) and perhaps
some routine lab tests (CT, spinal tap? you name it).

Academminc "memory researchers" ay actually administter soome tests,
but are not likely to have the clinical experience oor knowledge to
interpret them in terms of clinical diagnoses.

A clinical neuropsychologist will (1) test memory exhaustively, using
objective tests with well-developed norms (i.e. so they can say how far
your performance differs from the average IF at all)--in coontrast to a
neurologist or neuropsychiatrist asking you to "remember these three
objects" and asking you what they were 5 minutes later, and assuming
they know how many you should remember...(Visual memory?  tyPes of
visual memory?  recognition vs. recall? learning vs. remembering? 
short vs. long delay?  free vs. cued recall?  coding vs. storage vs.
retrieval?  HU-U-U-U-UHHHHH?)

They might recall hearing SOME of these terms, but these would be
residues of their early training, not anything they address in their
clinical practice.  Their time is too valuable for them to even considr
administering lengthy objective tests.

The academic memory researchers will knoow much more than I doo about
the history of all of these terms, and the latest findings regarding
these aspects of memory--but they will not know them in a clinical
context, will probably not test any of these things using clinically
normed tests, and if they do will not have the clinical experience to
relate them to specific syndromes, and will NOT have the resourcs or
expeience to testt things OTHER THAN MEMORY which may be relevant to
tthe "presenting" problem.

When I asked if you had seen a neuropsychologist, I MEANT "a

I stiill don't see a simple answer to my simple queation:  WHICH
University?  (and was it a neuropsych CLINIC or just an academic memory

Your inability to organize your replies or your search effectively
might suggest to some neuropsychologists an explanation for your
problems which may have nothing to do with memory at all, although it
may seem so subjectively.

F. Frank LeFever, Ph.D.
New York Neuropsychology Group

In <37a626e7.5908625 at news.freeserve.co.uk> liams at cwcom.net (Loonyl)
>Hi again,
>(BTW this isn't directed solely at Frank)
>If you look at the link
>(sorry for the change of URL, I've changed ISP's)
>it details what University and the types of test already been done,
>etc, but no matter.
>I have seen a neurologist, and a neuropsychiatrist
>but have been seen at most twice, and no further visits are planned.
>They do not know what's causing the memory disorder, and so nothing is
>As my psychiatrist said, "sometimes people don't fit into any
>category", and that I don't have a "mental illness",
>the psychology researchers said "We are all scratching our heads,
>no-one knows what's causing the problem".(after having feedback from
>neurologists, psychoneurologists etc)
>ANother said that "I'm been fobbed off, and basically being passed
>around as a token gesture"
>I am asking on this group, as things are not moving forward for me,
>and I hoped that someone may have come across this before, or could
>point me in the right direct etc. 
>Its a long shot, but its better than not doing anything, I think many
>would do the same in my situation, and I  do not post here regularly, 
>This is my 2nd request. I have been struggling for the last 3 years,
>to get my condition recognised, and have had to fight all along the
>way to see any of the experts that I have, so I don't think this I can
>be easily slotted into a new label of "internet Munchausen", but
>stranger things happenend.
>Maybe it's because I'm in the UK, so the NHS can't afford to do
>further tests, or is it because there are no effective treatments for
>my condition, or that the research into human memory impairments
>haven't advanced much?
>On 2 Aug 1999 05:08:37 GMT, flefever at ix.netcom.com(F. Frank LeFever)
>>University Psych Dept.??  What university?  ("local" doesn't mean
>>to us; we don't know where you live)  Was this at the university's
>>neuropsych CLINIC??  Or are we talking about academic memory
>>researchers. NOT a good place to look for diagnosis of a (perhaps)
>>neurological condition.
>>F. LeFever
>>In <37a4aa84.566392 at news.freeserve.co.uk> liams at cwcom.net (Loonyl)
>>>Hi again,
>>>i forgot to mention that the site is not the same as before.
>>>It contains details of the tests that have been done at my
>>>local universities psychology deparment.
>>>I hoped it would mean more to you guys, than it does to me.
>>>On Sun, 01 Aug 1999 19:39:34 GMT, liams at cwcom.net (Loonyl) wrote:
>>>>Hi frank,
>>>>this is the same person as before.
>>>>I did go to the links you mentioned,
>>>>and was seen by Addenbrookes in London.
>>>>(waited 6 months for the reply, it was "we don't know", end of
>>>>I have seen a neurologist, neuro-psychiatrist, neuropsychologist
>>>>psychologist etc but no-one has the answer.
>>>>I hope I'm not wasting anyones time here, it is a genuine request
>>>>help, and i do try any options put forward.
>:      ¥____________________________________________¥
>:            http://www.mental-health.freeserve.co.uk                 
>:                 All you ever wanted to know,      
>:                  but were too tired to ask        :o)      

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