Memory loss can take a toll on patients and their loved ones. Conditions like Alzheimer’s disease can be difficult to navigate for both caregivers and the patients themselves. Fortunately, the team at Memorial Healthcare in Owosso and throughout the state of Michigan provides comprehensive neurology services, including memory care for patients with dementia.
Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia
While Alzheimer’s disease and dementia may mistakenly be used interchangeably, they are distinct. Dementia is not a specific disease – it’s an umbrella term for mental decline that interferes with a patient’s daily life. Alzheimer’s disease, in contrast, is a specific, diagnosable condition and the most common underlying cause of dementia. Other forms of dementia include vascular dementia, Lewy body dementia, and frontotemporal dementia.
In addition to memory loss, symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia can include:
- Confusion about events and places
- Repeating questions
- Difficulty managing money or paying bills
- Getting lost
- Difficulty sleeping
- Changes in behavior, such as agitation or anxiety
- Trouble learning new information
- Difficulty recognizing family or friends
As memory loss progresses, a patient may experience symptoms like paranoia or hallucinations.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Dementia is not uncommon – according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated five million adults in the United States age 65 or older have dementia. However, not all older adults with memory loss have dementia. Some level of memory loss is normal as a person ages – such as occasionally forgetting a neighbor’s name or misplacing an item. To accurately diagnose a patient with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia, a physician may use the following tests:
- Blood work
- Cerebrospinal fluid tests
- Imaging tests such as computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Neurocognitive testing
- Psychiatric evaluation
These diagnostic tests can help rule out other underlying conditions that can affect memory, such as infection, thyroid problems, or metabolic disorders.
While not all forms of dementia are reversible, they can be managed with medication and lifestyle changes. Certain medicines can help improve brain function and slow disease progression in some patients. Patients with Alzheimer’s disease may also benefit from medications that help address related symptoms, like depression or sleeping problems.
Memory Care at Memorial Healthcare Institute for Neuroscience
Memorial Healthcare Institute for Neuroscience is proud to be an employed physician practice of Memorial Medical Associates, a department of Memorial Healthcare. The institute’s medical team is passionate about delivering personalized care to each patient, taking the time to understand their unique diagnosis and needs.
At Memorial Healthcare Institute for Neuroscience, patients benefit from best-in-class neurological care, as well as robust support services including:
- Occupational and physical therapy
- Speech and language pathology
- Mental health services
- Information on clinical trials
The practice is currently accepting new patients with most insurances.