There are many causes of dementia. These
include depression, polypharmacy, and other medical conditions.
Consequently, the diagnosis of Alzheimer's should never be made until a
thorough medical evaluation has been performed. While there is no cure for
Alzheimer's, patients can improve their lives significantly through the
management of their symptoms. Your call to the Alzheimer's & Memory Center
will initiate the following diagnostic evaluation:
- Patient and Family Interview:
After an initial
telephone interview, a packet will be mailed to a designated primary
caregiver. This packet, when complete, will provided a great deal of
information about the patient to the AMC team. Next, family members or
friends will meet with a clinician to review and clarify the history and
current needs for care. Obtaining a thorough patient history is critical for
establishing a differential diagnosis. This is also an opportunity for the
family to learn more about Alzheimer's and other dementias.
Examinations: Separate physical and neurological examinations
are performed to rule out certain diseases, detect contributing factors, and
determine the most likely type of dementia.
- Neuropsychological Testing:
Intellectual abilities, including
memory, language, calculation, and judgment, are measured. The pattern of
cognitive deficits is critical in determining diagnosis. We evaluate areas
of strength as well as weakness - important considerations in terms of
treatment and lifestyle planning.
- Multi-disciplinary Team Conference:
Our team reviews its findings, a diagnosis, treatment plan, and referral
recommendations are determined.
The diagnosis and individualized recommendations are explained to the
patient and family. Questions are encouraged, and a medical report is sent
to the patient's primary care doctor.
Patient re-evaluation is
provided annually, with new resource referrals provided as appropriate. Of
course, our staff is available for consultation as needed.
Is a referral needed?
Patients may self-refer or be
referred by a family, an agency, or a physician
We do not take the place of a
patient's personal physician. Patients continue to see their personal
physicians for prescriptions and basic health care.
Benefits of early diagnosis:
of slowing down the progression of symptoms of the disease
of behavioral changes
of medical or surgical intervention if Alzheimer's disease is ruled out
opportunity to chart patient's memory status
to counseling and social services
to plan for the future
to educate yourself so you know more about what to expect
to find support programs for caregivers
Notice of Private Practices