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Alzheimer’s Disease

 Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s disease typically affects people in later life, causing irreversible dementia. The neurology team at Dayton Center for Neurological Disorders (DCND) offers the most advanced Alzheimer’s treatments at offices they staff in Dayton, Centerville, Springfield, Eaton, Wilmington, Hillsboro, Beavercreek, and Huber Heights, Ohio, managed by nationally recognized Alzheimer’s and dementia care doctors. If you or a loved one require specialized Alzheimer’s care, ask your primary care provider for a referral, then the DCND team will reach out to you to schedule an appointment. 

Alzheimer’s Disease Q & A

What is Alzheimer’s disease?

Alzheimer’s disease causes dementia — memory loss that interferes with daily life and gradually worsens over time. There’s currently no cure, but the Dayton Center for Neurological Disorders team is involved with many studies that are searching for new treatments.

The main Alzheimer’s symptom is memory problems, like forgetting recently acquired information and repeatedly asking the same question. You might have trouble with planning and organization or paying monthly bills. Difficulty completing familiar tasks, such as writing a grocery list or driving somewhere you know, is also common.

Other symptoms include:

  • Confusion concerning dates, seasons, and time
  • New difficulties with spoken or written words
  • Poor judgment with money
  • Lack of personal care
  • Social withdrawal
  • Mood swings
  • Personality changes

In Alzheimer’s middle stages, brain damage makes it hard for patients to perform routine tasks or express their thoughts, and care needs increase significantly.

During Alzheimer’s late stages, patients may become immobile, unable to communicate, and have difficulty swallowing. They require intensive, round-the-clock care focusing on quality of life and dignity.  

How is Alzheimer’s disease diagnosed?

There isn’t a specific test for Alzheimer’s or dementia. Your neurologist checks your medical history and performs physical and mental exams. They order brain imaging procedures like a CT scan or MRI and complete mental status tests. 

Mini-mental state exams (MMSEs) help the Dayton Center for Neurological Disorders team to diagnose your condition. The exam involves answering questions designed to evaluate everyday mental skills.

For example, you may need to identify everyday objects and then remember them a short time later. The team also uses computer-based memory, thinking, and learning tests.

Brain imaging is mainly useful for ruling out other conditions that could cause symptoms similar to Alzheimer’s. In some cases, your doctor might use brain imaging to see if you have high levels of the peptide beta-amyloid, a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease.

What treatments help with Alzheimer’s disease?

Unfortunately, there’s no cure for Alzheimer’s, but medications may help with memory loss and confusion for a limited time.

Your neurologist can prescribe these medications, including new Alzheimer’s drugs like aducanumab IV infusions. The team also helps you manage some of the disease’s symptoms, like behavior changes and problems sleeping.

Ask your doctor for a referral to Dayton Center for Neurological Disorders for expert Alzheimer’s care. You may also be able to participate in clinical trials for new treatments.