Dementia, Alzheimer’s Disease, and Memory Loss
Compassionate care for adults with memory problems
Dementia involves a decline in a person’s ability to think, reason, and remember. When symptoms begin to interfere with a person's daily life, we classify the condition as dementia.
There are many types of dementia, and people with this condition can have different symptoms. If you or a loved one is experiencing memory loss or other cognitive (thinking) changes, we can help.
Our neuropsychology experts evaluate adults to:
- Identify the cause of memory loss
- Determine the severity
- Recommend a plan for preserving and improving memory and maintaining day-to-day functioning
Dementia symptoms can vary greatly from patient to patient, and not all memory or thinking problems are related to dementia. At least two of the following functions must be significantly affected in order for a patient to be diagnosed with dementia:
- Focus and ability to pay attention
- Language and communication
- Reasoning and judgment
- Visual perception
People with dementia may have trouble controlling their emotions. They also may experience changes in their personalities.
Alzheimer’s disease symptoms
The most common type of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease, a neurodegenerative condition that refers to a loss of brain function and memory. Early warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease may include:
- Avoiding work, hobbies, and social activities
- Confusion about time or place
- Difficulty with problem-solving or planning
- Losing things and/or difficulty retracing steps
- Memory loss that affects daily life
- Mood/personality changes
- New problems speaking or writing
- Poor judgment/decision-making
- Trouble completing familiar tasks
- Vision problems, including reading or judging distance
Testing and treatment options
Care for dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and memory loss starts with a thorough neuropsychological evaluation. This is a one-on-one evaluation with a specially trained neuropsychology team member. The test will measure you in several areas, such as memory, reasoning, and attention. Learn more about neuropsychology for adults.
In most cases of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, there is no cure. But treatments can help preserve memory and other functions, as well as improve your ability to manage everyday challenges. We’ll use the results of your neuropsychological examination to recommend treatments to your primary care doctor.
Treatment recommendations may include:
- Lifestyle modifications, such as avoiding confrontations and reducing environmental factors that can be confusing or distracting
- Recommendations about legal guardianship and long-term care
- Referrals to a psychiatrist, who can help manage disturbances in mood, thought, or behavior
- Speech therapy from our speech-language pathology team