Cognitive disorders clinic

The regional cognitive disorders clinic receives referrals from primary care, neurologists, general adult and older adult psychiatry, and general physicians from NHS Lothian, Forth Valley, Borders and Fife.

Patients are reviewed by an inter-disciplinary clinical team with assessments lasting 1.5-2.0 hours including a review of clinical symptoms, cognitive testing and a detailed physical examination.

Further tests are arranged to establish the cause of cognitive symptoms including blood tests, gene testing, brain imaging and cerebrospinal fluid examination (lumbar punctures).

In addition to a fortnightly general cognitive disorders clinic, there are regular specialist clinics for: cognitive genetics, early-onset Alzheimer's disease, frontotemporal dementia, progressive aphasias, posterior cortical atrophy and corticobasal syndrome.

Clinical Research Opportunities

Patients are invited to participate in the Edinburgh Cognitive Diagnosis Audit Research and Treatment Register (CDC-DART) and associated DNA and cerebrospinal fluid research tissue banks.

The purpose of the register is to gain a better understanding about the clinical features of cognitive disorders and how they progress, enable earlier and more accurate diagnosis and build a framework for evaluating treatments and interventions as they become available.


Dr Suvankar Pal, Consultant Neurologist & NHS Research Scotland Research Fellow

Dr Guy Holloway, Consultant Old Age Psychiatrist

Professor Sharon Abrahams, Consultant Clinical Neuropsychologist

Dr Thomas Bak, Clinical Research Fellow

Mrs Shuna Colville, Senior Nurse Specialist

Dr Tim Wilkinson, Research Registrar

Recent publications

Alpha-synculein RT-QuIC in the CSF of patients with alpha-synucleinopathies

  • Fairfoul , G., McGuire, L. I., Pal, S.Ironside, J., Neumann, J., Christie, S., Joachim, C., Esiri, M., Evetts, S. G., Rolinski, M., Baig, F., Ruffmann, C., Wade-Martins, R., Hu, M. T. M., Parkkinen, L. & Green, A. 28 Aug 2016 In : Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology.

Improved PCR based methods for detecting C9orf72 hexanucleotide repeat expansions

A systematic review and meta-analysis of retinal nerve fibre layer change in dementia, using optical coherence tomography

  • Thomson, K. L., Yeo, J. M., Waddell, B.Cameron, J. R. & Pal, S. 6 May 2015 In : Alzheimer's & Dementia: Diagnosis, Assessment & Disease Monitoring. 1, 2, p. 136-143 8 p.

A systematic review and meta-analysis of 18F-labeled amyloid imaging in Alzheimer's disease

  • Yeo, J. M., Waddell, B., Khan, Z. & Pal, S. 1 Mar 2015 In : Alzheimer's & Dementia: Diagnosis, Assessment & Disease Monitoring. 1, 1, p. 5-13.

The Diagnostic Utility of Tc-HMPAO SPECT Imaging: A Retrospective Case Series from a Tertiary Referral Early-Onset Cognitive Disorders Clinic

The Utility of the Addenbrooke's Cognitive Examination Version Three in Early-Onset Dementia

  • Elamin, M., Holloway, G., Bak, T. H. & Pal, S. 2015 In : Dementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders. 41, 1-2, p. 9-15.


What are cognitive disorders?