Alzheimer’s / Dementia
50 million people worldwide live with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. Alzheimer’s disease is a degenerative brain disease and the most common form of dementia. Dementia is not a specific disease but rather describes a group of symptoms.
The exact diagnostic testing done by our team of experts may vary greatly from one patient to another depending on symptoms and previous testing done by other physicians. A pre-consultation questionnaire will be mailed to the family when an appointment is made to guide the family in gathering pertinent information.
What is dementia?
Dementia is not a specific disease. It’s an overall term that describes a group of symptoms associated with a decline in memory or other thinking skills severe enough to reduce a person’s ability to perform everyday activities. Alzheimer’s disease accounts for 60 to 80 percent of cases. Vascular dementia, which occurs after a stroke, is the second most common dementia type. But there are many other conditions that can cause symptoms of dementia, including some that are reversible, such as thyroid problems and vitamin deficiencies.
Dementia is often incorrectly referred to as “senility” or “senile dementia,” which reflects the formerly widespread but incorrect belief that serious mental decline is a normal part of aging.
While symptoms can vary greatly, at least two of the following core mental functions must be significantly impaired to be considered dementia:
- Communication and language
- Ability to focus and pay attention
- Reasoning and judgment
- Visual perception
Many dementias are progressive, meaning symptoms start out slowly and gradually get worse. If you or a loved one is experiencing memory difficulties or other changes in thinking skills, don’t ignore them. See a doctor soon to determine the cause.
FWNC 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
What is Alzheimer’s?
Alzheimer’s is the most common cause of dementia, a general term for memory loss and other cognitive abilities serious enough to interfere with daily life. Alzheimer’s disease accounts for 60 percent to 80 percent of dementia cases. Alzheimer’s is not a normal part of aging. The greatest known risk factor is increasing age, and the majority of people with Alzheimer’s are 65 and older. But Alzheimer’s is not just a disease of old age. Approximately 200,000 Americans under the age of 65 have younger-onset Alzheimer’s disease (also known as early-onset Alzheimer’s).
Alzheimer’s worsens over time as it is a progressive disease. In its early stages, memory loss is mild, but with late-stage Alzheimer’s, individuals lose the ability to carry on a conversation and respond to their environment.
FWNC 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 Alzheimer’s and helping our patients to maintain an optimal quality of life.
James C. Stevens, M.D., F.A.S.M.
NEUROLOGIST / SLEEP DISORDERS
Dr. Stevens has been a private practicing neurologist and specialist in sleep disorders medicine at the Fort Wayne Neurological Center for the past 30years. He received his medical degree from the Indiana University School of Medicine, where he graduated at the top of his class, receiving AOA honors his junior year. He completed his neurology resident training at Indiana University where he was a multi-year recipient of the Alexander Ross Award for outstanding neurologic research. He currently serves as a Professor of Neurology for the IUSM and is currently serving as President-elect of AAN. In addition, Dr. Stevens has been recognized annually as one the “Best Doctors in America”, and has been a recipient of the “Patients Choice Award” since 2008 as one of the outstanding physicians in the United States and has received multi-year recognition as the “Top Doc” in Neurology by the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette.
- B.A., Biological Sciences with Highest Distinction, 1979, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana
- M.D., Doctor of Medicine with Honors, 1983, Indiana University School of Medicine, Bloomington, Indiana
- Indiana University School of Medicine, Department of Neurology, Indianapolis, Indiana, 1984-1987
- American Board of Psychiatry & Neurology
- American Board of Sleep Medicine
- Director, Sleep DIsorders Laboratory, St. Joseph Medical Center, Fort Wayne, Indiana; 989-present
- Director, Lutheran Hospital Regional Sleep Lab, Fort Wayne, Indiana; 1989-present
- Instructor of Clinical Neurology for the Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, Indiana; 1989-present
- Lutheran Hospital Executive Committee, Fort Wayne, Indiana; 1996-present
- Lutheran Hospital Medicine Committee, Fort Wayne, Indiana; 1990-present
- Lutheran Hospital Staff Selection Committee, Fort Wayne, Indiana; 1990-present
- Lutheran Hospital Critical Care Committee, Fort Wayne, Indiana; 2000-present
- Rehabilitation Hospital of Fort Wayne Executive Committee, Fort Wayne, Indiana; 1994-present
- American Academy of Neurology; 2001-present; Vice Chairman 2005-present
- American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, Boston, MA; 1989, 2001-present
- American Academy of Neurology Member
- American Medical Association Member
- Fellow of the American Sleep Disorders Association Member
- Indiana Neurological Society Member
- Fort Wayne Medical Society Member