Comprehensive AssessmentPatients with memory concerns undergo a thorough evaluation to determine possible causes of memory loss or reduced cognitive functioning.
To determine the cause of memory loss, team members:
- Meet with the patient and family to obtain a thorough medical and behavioral history
- Perform a neurological exam to test brain function
- Conduct cognitive testing to assess mental processes
Other testing may include:
- Laboratory tests
- Neuro-imaging — Froedtert & The Medical College of Wisconsin use advanced imaging technology — computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), positron emission tomography (PET) and single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) — to detect abnormal areas in the brain’s structure and function.
- Neuropsychological testing
A diagnosis and individualized care plan are provided to all patients and their family members. A copy of the assessment and regular progress reports are provided to the patient’s primary care physician.
Treatment OptionsAlthough there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia, medical care can relieve many symptoms including behavioral changes. Effective care and support can improve the quality of life for individuals and their caregivers over the course of the disease.
Treatment may include:
- Medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat Alzheimer’s disease and other progressive dementias; medication may help stabilize and maintain a higher level of functioning over a longer time period
- Medication to treat behavioral changes
- Behavior management
- Education, support and advice for family members, including ways to modify the home environment and establish daily routines
- Counseling to help the patient and family cope with new challenges as the disease progresses
Patients receive medical care on an ongoing basis and further testing, if needed.
Author: Marla Fraunfelder
Last Review Date: May 24, 2010