Full Range of Services
Our center is very familiar with the varied needs of older adults. In addition to psychiatric services, we work very closely with social work who can provide support and help families negotiate the health care system. Office based and home based services for social work are available. Additional referrals for community support, legal, day programs, and nursing home assessments for placement are also provided.
Dementia is a general term for cognitive and memory impairment. Specific diagnoses related to dementia includes Alzheimer’s Disease, Vascular Dementia and Lewy Body Disease.
Early diagnoses and treatment is critical for managing these illnesses, so that symptoms can be delayed. The average time from symptoms onset to diagnoses is about three years, over which time the illness typically progresses. Mild Cognitive Impairment is the earliest stage that we can currently detect symptoms, however, it is difficult to predict which people affected will go on to develop Alzheimer’s Disease. Several medications have explored whether treatment started during this earliest stage can be helpful in preventing or delaying symptoms.
Over the course of a dementia, memory typically declines, along with language abilities, attention to self-care, and often behavioral changes can occur. A comprehensive evaluation should consider the influence of not only medical problems, but behavioral issues as well. Psychiatric symptoms are the most common reason that family members decide on nursing home placement. Excellent treatments with minimal side effects can often be helpful to manage behavioral problems.
Clinical Studies and You
If appropriate for clinical research, all aspects of involvement will be thoroughly reviewed with you. Some of the medications are already approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), but are being evaluated for a different subset of patients, or in combination with different medications. Our clinical studies may also examine new medications which have yet to receive FDA approval. Our center tends to focus on Phase II and III studies, which are the steps preceding Food and Drug Administration approval. At Phase II and III, there is data available about the safely and efficacy of the medication.
Be sure to have all your questions answered fully, and patients are encouraged to discuss participation both with family and health care providers who are treating you. Participation in research allows patients access to new treatments, involves intensive evaluation and follow up, and doctor’s visits and medication are provided at no expense. Reimbursement for travel may also be provided while enrolled in clinical studies.