at the Nathan S. Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research
Geriatric Psychiatry Research Program
The MERI Visit
The patient will go over their medical history with one of our staff. The patient will also be screened for anxiety, depression, and dementia.
The patient will have cognitive testing with one of our staff. The cognitive testing is a comprehensive evaluation of memory, language, and psychomotor functioning.
The patient will have a subjective, psychiatric interview with our director, Dr. Pomara. Family members and caregivers are invited to join in on this part of the visit.
What are the procedures and tests of the MERI?
Participants in the MERI are asked to sign an Informed Consent, after which vitals are taken and blood is drawn (for patients who agree to this). They are then administered a neuropsychological test battery (NTB), which includes tests of memory and general cognitive function, each of which is rated according to age-appropriate normative data. The normative data allows us to determine whether a particular individual’s performance is within normal range for his or her age. After the testing, patients undergo comprehensive medical evaluation. This involves obtaining psychiatric and medical history, as well as a review of medications (some can have deleterious effects on memory). Finally, a psychiatric evaluation is conducted by Dr. Pomara to discuss complaints with patients and make recommendations.
Neuropsychological test sections administered include:
General Intellectual Function
This section includes summaries for tests that are commonly used to provide a broad evaluation of cognitive functioning, including tests of time, location, object identification, memory, and language abilities. For example, the Mini-Mental State Exam (MMSE): a brief test of global cognitive functioning.
This section includes the summaries for performance on the Auditory Verbal Learning Test (AVLT), a word list memory task.
This section includes summaries of tests designed to measure the coordination between thinking and hand movements.These tests range in complexity from finger taps to drawing lines following a particular sequence of numbers and letters.
Other assessments include tests that measure the ability to name pictures of objects, speed and flexibility of verbal thought processes and other self-assessment scales and questionnaires.
**This study includes annual re-evaluations following the initial visit in which psychometric tests are repeated**