When you or loved ones are dealing with a disease that causes memory loss and other cognitive declines, it can be a very challenging time for the entire family.
That’s why it can be helpful to have a partner, like the world-renowned memory disorder experts at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, who can compassionately provide care for dementia-related conditions and ensure the best possible outcomes.
Our expertise in dementia is unmatched by most hospitals nationwide as our Memory Disorders Clinic has been operating for three decades. The standard test used in doctors’ offices globally to assess cognitive function — known as the SAGE test — was created by the director of our Division of Cognitive Neurology and developed at the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center.
Dementia means someone is having trouble with memory or thinking to an extent that they need help with performing daily activities. Though it mostly affects older people, it’s not a normal part of aging.
Our clinicians who specialize in dementia-related diseases will work diligently to identify a cause and find treatment or therapies that might be able to slow that decline or, in some cases of dementia, stop or reverse it.
What is dementia?
Dementia is not a specific disease. It’s a general term given to a group of symptoms affecting memory, thinking and functional abilities to a point where you can’t do normal activities on your own.
The term describes the state of someone’s mental function and entails a decline in that function from a previously higher level. No two people living with a disease that causes dementia experience the exact same set of symptoms. Areas that could be affected include:
Although memory loss is a common symptom of dementia, it alone does not mean you have dementia. People with dementia have a problem with two or more of the brain functions listed above.
Occasionally misplacing the car keys or forgetting an acquaintance’s name are common age-related memory changes. Someone with dementia, however, might not be able to cook or get dressed, their personalities may change, or they see things that aren’t there.
Dementia, which affects more than 55 million people worldwide, develops when certain parts of your brain are damaged by any variety of brain disorders. Many different medical conditions can cause dementia, such as strokes or the most common cause, Alzheimer’s disease.
Drugs are available to treat some of these diseases. While these drugs rarely cure dementia or repair brain damage, they may improve symptoms or slow the disease.
Ohio State is a leader in treatment of dementia-related conditions
If you or a loved one is suffering from dementia symptoms or has a disease that causes dementia, the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center is an ideal partner in that care because of our longstanding tradition of being at the forefront of memory disorder treatments and research.
Strengths that distinguish us include:
The Memory Disorder Clinic – Established in 1993, our clinic is one of the most comprehensive centers in the region for research, evaluation, diagnosis and treatment for patients and families affected by dementia.
SAGE test – The Self-Administered Gerocognitive Exam (SAGE) is designed to detect early signs of cognitive, memory or thinking impairments. This cognitive assessment tool is used worldwide and was developed here at the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center by Douglas Scharre, MD, director of our Division of Cognitive Neurology. We also developed the 4-Turn Test to determine whether those with Alzheimer’s disease are at risk for unsafe driving.
Cognitive specialists – There are not many fellowship-trained cognitive specialists in the United States; however, the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center has the most in Ohio. Our physicians and nurse practitioners bring a high level of skill to diagnosing and treating dementia and addressing the disease’s effects on patients and families. We’re experts in behavioral neurology and neuropsychiatry, as well.
Integrative team approach – You’ll be cared for by a team of experts that includes neuroradiologists, psychometricians, psychiatrists, social workers, advanced care providers, nurses, genetic counselors, research coordinators, clinical research assistants, and pharmacists. They’ll work together to evaluate how well your brain processes as well as what treatments could be available.
Research and clinical trials – We have as many as three dozen dementia- and memory-related trials happening here at any given time. We study everything from normal thinkers at risk, to dementia with Lewy bodies, to impacts on caregivers, allowing you to have access to the latest drugs and other therapies.