Alzheimer’s / Dementia
The Alzheimer’s/Dementia Institute of Fort Wayne Neurological Center was founded to offer a dedicated, comprehensive region of care to individuals suffering from neuro-degenerative disorders. The Institute provides patient and family education, cutting-edge evaluation and diagnosis, advanced disease management protocols, psychological care and support, and ongoing research with university faculties and pharmaceutical companies. Our expert staff is committed to treating these disorders and helping our patients to maintain an optimal quality of life.
What Is Dementia?
Dementia is defined as a deterioration of mental abilities that affects memory, personality and other cognitive functions. Dementia can be caused by a number of illnesses, many of which are potentially treatable or reversible. Examples include depression, chemical imbalance and the effects of medications. Other illnesses causing dementia are more chronic in nature and require long-term management. The most common cause of chronic dementia in later life is Alzheimer’s disease.
The Facts About Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive degeneration of the brain leading to memory loss, personality changes, confusion and eventually diminishing control of bodily functions. Once termed “senility,” or mistakenly attributed to “hardening of the arteries,” Alzheimer’s disease affects some 4 million Americans, roughly 10 percent of the over-65 population. Almost half of persons over 85 have the disorder.
Because many other treatable disorders can mimic Alzheimer’s disease, an accurate diagnosis is essential. Alzheimer’s disease is conclusively diagnosed by examining brain tissue usually after death; however, a very reliable clinical diagnosis can now be made using various medical and psychological tests.
The symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease can vary tremendously from one patient to another. Recent research has suggested that those differences may predict how quickly the disease will spread, how severe the symptoms will be and what interventions can help. Although Alzheimer’s disease itself cannot be cured, many effective management strategies have been designed. These are developed based on a thorough understanding of each patient’s characteristics.
How To Deal With Dementia
The Fort Wayne Neurological Center offers a diagnostic and family management clinic for dementia. The clinic provides the latest in diagnostic procedures, educational information and management instruction. The dementia clinic consists of the following components:
- Diagnostic interview with program director
- Psychometric testing
- Neurologist consultation and medical diagnostic procedures
- Complete explanation of diagnostic findings with management recommendations, educational and informational materials, medication, etc.
- Instructional classes for patients and families
- Community resource referral
- Participation in new medication trials
- The exact diagnostic testing done may vary greatly from one patient to another depending on symptoms and previous testing done by other physicians.
When the patient or family calls for an appointment, a preconsultation questionnaire will be mailed. This will guide the family in gathering historical information as well as other medical test data prior to their appointment.