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Alzheimer's Disease and Memory Disorders Program

Memory loss and decline in mental abilities can occur in people of all ages for many reasons, causing concern for the individuals as well as their loved ones. The NorthShore Neurological Institute's Alzheimer’s Disease and Memory Disorders program provides comprehensive, compassionate and multidisciplinary care that focuses on individuals coping with memory loss. Putting the patient at the very center, we work closely with family members and other care providers to ensure the patient’s comfort throughout diagnosis and treatment.

Our team comprises neurologists, neuropsychologists, a dedicated nurse clinical coordinator and a social worker—all specializing in memory disorders, including treatment for Alzheimer’s and other conditions such as vascular dementia, Lewy body dementia and frontotemporal dementia. Our Neurological Institute specialists also evaluate memory problems and cognitive issues related to head trauma, depression and sleep disorders. In addition to daily patient care, we focus on clinical research as a means of furthering our knowledge of memory disorders and memory loss treatments, because new discoveries make real differences in patients’ lives.

Another key focus of our program is educating physicians and the community about Alzheimer's disease. As memory loss is prevalent in older adults, our physicians teach internal medicine and family practice residents as part of their geriatric training.

Memory Loss and Alzheimer's Disease Diagnosis

Neurological Institute specialists are passionate about pursuing the latest advances in diagnosis and care—and about giving patients access to clinical trials designed to improve their treatment for memory loss. From cutting-edge imaging techniques to state-of-the-art neuropsychological evaluation tools, our doctors embrace the highest standard of care, continuously seeking new and innovative treatments. Depending on the type of memory disorder, both our neurologists and neuropsychologists provide assessments for the best diagnosis and treatment.

For patients with a family history of Alzheimer's disease or who are concerned about their brain health, genetic testing may help identify the risk of developing this condition. Once identified, our team can work with you to develop prevention, diagnosis and treatment options and strategies.

Positron Emission Tomography (PET) is available for imaging amyloid plaques in the brain, as may be seen in someone with Alzheimer’s disease. While this test does not establish a diagnosis, it can help to identify if cognitive decline may be associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Often used for younger patients, this scan serves as an additional tool to ensure a more conclusive diagnosis for the disease. This is a self-pay test, as most insurance companies do not currently cover the procedure. At NorthShore, patients may be eligible to participate in an ongoing clinical study to determine the impact of amyloid scanning on outcomes.