Dementia means that someone has trouble with memory or thinking to such an extent that he or she needs help with performing daily activities. It may be caused by a number of conditions that affect the brain. Dementia is not a specific disease. People with dementia may not be able to think well enough to do normal activities, such as cooking or shopping, using their cell phone or even getting dressed or eating. They may lose their ability to solve problems or control their emotions. Their personalities may change. They may become agitated or see things that are not there. Not all dementia disorders will cause all of these symptoms.
Memory loss is a common symptom of dementia. However, memory loss by itself does not mean you have dementia. People with dementia have serious problems with two or more brain functions, such as memory and language. Although dementia is common in very elderly people, it is not part of normal aging.
Many different diseases can cause dementia, including Alzheimer's disease and stroke. Drugs are available to treat some of these diseases. While these drugs cannot cure dementia or repair brain damage, they may improve symptoms or slow down the disease.
Source: NIH: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
Why choose Ohio State for treatment of dementia?
The Memory Disorders Clinic at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, established in 1993, is one of Ohio’s most comprehensive centers for research, evaluation, diagnosis and treatment for patients and families affected by dementia. Strengths that distinguish us include:
Assessment Expertise: We developed the cognitive assessment tool, SAGE, used nationwide to detect the early signs of cognitive disorders.
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Cognitive Specialists: Ohio State has the most fellowship-trained cognitive specialists in Ohio. Our four physicians and nurse practitioner bring a high level of skill to diagnosing and treating dementia and addressing the disease’s effects on patients and families. We are experts in behavioral neurology and neuropsychiatry, as well.
- Our psychometricians perform cognitive and neuropsychological testing to evaluate the brain’s ability to process information and emotion.
- Our neuroradiologists are experienced in correlating brain images with a patient’s history to come to a better understanding of brain processes and abnormalities.
- Our social worker works exclusively with patients with memory disorders and their families to tap resources that help people cope with the challenges of their condition.
- Our pharmacist assists in proper medication use and dosing for patients with memory disorders.
- Our research coordinators screen and assess patients in clinical trials and are available to answer research questions.
Research: Ohio State conducts more clinical research and clinical trials for dementia – including Alzheimer’s disease – than any other medical center in Ohio. Our patients have more immediate access to the most promising treatments and diagnostic techniques, often long before they are available to the public.
Additionally, we have high-powered magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and state-of-the-art positron emission tomography (PET) machines that provide highly defined images for research: the 3 Tesla MRI, 7 Tesla MRI and amyloid and tau PET imaging. This equipment produces crisp, high-resolution images at a remarkable level of accuracy.
Learn more about memory disorders.