The Alzheimer’s Disease and Memory Disorders Center at Rhode Island Hospital offers a full range of diagnostic and treatment services, including brain imaging, genetic testing, and neuropsychological evaluation.
The center is nationally known not only for its clinical services but also for its research, including the clinical trials program that offers the latest in leading-edge new therapies aimed to treat and also delay, and ultimately prevent, the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.
Because there are more than 70 different causes of dementia, a comprehensive diagnostic evaluation is an important first step when dealing with symptoms of memory loss.
The center's neurologists are memory disorder specialists who offer patients the latest advances in memory disorder diagnosis and treatment.
To ensure an accurate diagnosis we provide a thorough evaluation of each patient, which includes a careful review of his or her medical history, a physical examination, and neuropsychological testing of mental functions. Neuroimaging, positron emission tomography (PET), single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and computed tomography (CT) may also be used during the evaluation process, along with other laboratory tests.
At the weekly memory clinic consensus meeting, staff neurologists, psychiatrists, and neuropsychologists discuss new patient evaluations after all diagnostic tests and consultations have been completed and come to a consensus diagnosis and recommended treatment plan. This plan, which is outlined during a follow-up visit to the office, often includes:
- Counseling about the diagnosis and prognosis
- Information on support services
- Medications for symptoms such as memory loss, sleep disturbance, anxiety, or depression
Many patients attending the memory clinic for diagnostic services receive a detailed evaluation of their cognitive function in consultation with a member of the Rhode Island Hospital Neuropsychology Program. Their cases are reviewed and discussed with the staff of the memory clinic before a wrap-up visit with the neurologist to discuss their diagnosis and management plan. The patient's management plan is recommended to his or her primary care physician in a complete consultation letter. In some cases, the plan may be instituted by the neurologist at the center. Patients and their families are encouraged to return for follow-up visits every three to six months to monitor progress.
In addition to this clinical diagnostic evaluation and treatment, we offer:
- Consultation with Rhode Island and The Miriam hospitals staff psychiatrists and geriatric psychiatrists for counseling and treatment of behavioral problems.
- Genetic testing for hereditary dementia.
- Social services/referral to services to help our patients and their families find the support they need within their communities.
- Speech and occupational therapy to help our patients live their lives to their fullest capabilities.
- Counseling and support for our patients' caregivers, who are an important part of each patient's health care team, via our Family Therapy Program.
- Research studies.
Patients who have a scheduled doctor appointment:
- Take the elevators to the 7th floor.
- Check in with secretaries in booth 1 or 2 when you arrive.