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Dementia Specialist

Neurology Diagnostics, Inc.

Adult Neurology & Electrodiagnostic Medicine located in South Dayton, Dayton, OH

Dementia isn't just a terrible disease for the patient — it can be heartbreaking and especially challenging for family and friends, who are devastated to see someone they love change so drastically. If dementia is affecting your family, Joel Vandersluis, MD, and his team at Neurology Diagnostics, Inc. in North and South Dayton, Ohio, can help. They provide expert diagnosis and the latest treatments for dementia and offer patients a chance to participate in clinical trials for new therapies. Call Neurology Diagnostics, Inc. today to find out more or book an appointment using the online form.

Dementia Q & A

What is dementia?

Dementia is a loss of cognitive function, meaning that it affects your ability to:

  • Think
  • Remember
  • Solve problems
  • Reason
  • Talk
  • Focus
  • Pay attention

Dementia can also affect your emotions. For instance, you might lose your temper more often. Some people with dementia undergo a personality change, perhaps becoming aggressive or confrontational.

Early-stage dementia causes interference with daily activities but isn't immediately disabling. However, as the disease progresses, patients lose the ability to look after themselves and become dependent on family or caregivers for all of their needs.

In the advanced stages, people with dementia often fail to recognize the people closest to them, or believe they're someone else.

What causes dementia?

Dementia develops when the nerve cells (neurons) in your brain stop working, and the connections they have made are lost. Some loss of neurons is an inevitable part of the aging process. However, age-related loss of memory, while frustrating, isn't disabling.

Dementia is not a normal consequence of aging, although it does tend to affect older people more. The excessive loss of neurons is often due to Alzheimer's disease, but it can have other causes, including:

  • Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease
  • Huntington's disease
  • Chronic traumatic encephalopathy
  • Frontotemporal disorders
  • Vascular dementia (strokes)
  • Lewy body dementia/ Parkinsonian

Dementia is more likely to affect you if you have high blood pressure, poorly managed diabetes, atherosclerosis (narrowed arteries), or you suffer a stroke.

How is dementia treated?

Unfortunately, there aren't any treatments that can stop or slow down neurodegenerative diseases or progressive dementia. However, medications such as galantamine, donepezil, and rivastigmine can be helpful in stabilizing or even improving memory and thinking in some patients. Memantine is often added as the disease progresses.

Treating underlying conditions is important, as is promoting good general health. Some medications can help reduce the effects of specific symptoms, at least for a while. People with dementia typically require multidisciplinary care for optimal quality of life.

At Neurology Diagnostics, Inc., you have an opportunity to take part in clinical trials that aim to find better treatments for people who have dementia. The practice carries out multiple studies into Alzheimer's disease, which is the most widespread single cause of dementia. Current studies include:

Early-onset Alzheimer's disease or mild cognitive impairment (MCI)

This study treats individuals who have mild cognitive impairment or early-onset Alzheimer's type dementia who are under 90 years old.

Mild-to-moderate Alzheimer's disease

This study is for people who are 55-80 years old who have Alzheimer's disease.

Agitation associated with Alzheimer's disease

This study is for people 65-90 years of age who have a diagnosis of (probable) Alzheimer's disease, where they have significant agitation or aggression that interferes with daily routine activities.

To find out more about taking part in a clinical trial or for help with dementia, call Neurology Diagnostics, Inc. today or book an appointment online.