Healthcare Services and Programs

We provide comprehensive assessment, diagnosis and treatment for patients with common and rare complex dementia syndromes, also referred to as neurodegenerative conditions.

find a doctorview our locationsOur approach to patient care is one of compassion and dedicated expertise given to each individual patient and their families. We spend the time required to diagnose individual patients, working step by step through the symptoms and testing results. We consult with families to understand behavioral changes in the patient's behavior at home and the workplace.

We respect the dignity of our patients, knowing their debilitation may be frightening and frustrating — knowing each patient needs our understanding, as well as our expertise.

We understand families require assistance, as their loved one declines in daily functional capacity, and so we work with families, providing education and resources.

Why Choose OhioHealth Cognitive Neurology

With the advent of aging baby boomers and longer life spans, there is an increasing demand for excellent dementia care. Our cognitive neurology program has grown to meet this need with an expert medical team. This team includes a cognitive neurologist specially trained to recognize predictive patterns and collective symptoms in complex and rare cognitive disorders.

In addition to their expertise, everyone in our cognitive neurology program is dedicated to compassionately treating the unique needs of patients suffering from dementia.

  • We spend the time it takes to fully understand each patient's individual condition.
  • We work closely with patients and their families not only during but after diagnosis. This is to monitor the condition and assist families in finding resources that can help them manage this progressive and often complex disease.

Our Team of Experts

OhioHealth Cognitive Neurology includes many experts skilled in working with patients and families living with a neurodegenerative condition. They include:

  • Neurologists
  • Neuropsychologists
  • Geriatricians
  • Psychometrists
  • Speech therapists
  • Physical therapists
  • Social workers

Clinical Assessments

OhioHealth Cognitive Neurology provides a methodical, in-depth, personalized assessment process designed to deconstruct the subtle symptoms and complex signs associated with dementia.

Each assessment is individualized and typically includes:

  • Cognitive neurology assessment with a cognitive neurologist
  • Comprehensive dementia evaluation
  • Language evaluation
  • Neuropsychological testing

Tests and imaging often involved in diagnosing dementia may include:

  • Blood tests (to rule out reversible causes of memory loss, such as thyroid problems or vitamin deficiencies)
  • MRI (to look for patterns of atrophy or to rule out other causes of brain dysfunction, such as a tumor or stroke)
  • FDG PET Scan (to increase diagnostic accuracy regarding frontotemporal and Alzheimer's dementias)

Treatment

Our cognitive neurology team works together to provide the results patients and their families need to be able to manage a neurodegenerative condition.

This includes providing the most advanced medications as well as:

  • Expert rehabilitative care with speech and physical therapists
  • Collaborative care with patient's primary care physician
  • Continued assessment, as needed, by our cognitive neurologist
  • Social work assistance
  • Support group connections

Conditions We Treat

We treat common and rare complex dementia conditions, including but not limited to, those below.

Most common conditions of primary neurodegenerative diseases:

  • Mild cognitive impairment
  • Dementia of Alzheimer's type
  • Frontotemporal dementia
  • Dementia with Lewy bodies
  • Parkinson's disease dementia
  • Primary progressive aphasias (logopenic, semantic, agrammatic, apraxia of speech)
  • Posterior cortical atrophy

Most common conditions of secondary cognitive dysfunction resulting from:

  • Steroid-responsive autoimmune/paraneoplastic encephalopathy
  • NMDA encephalitis
  • Hepatic or renal failure related encephalopathy
  • Chronic sequelae of infectious encephalitis
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Tumors
  • Epilepsy
  • Developmental delay - static brain injury
  • Strokes

Forgetfulness: When Not to Worry 

There’s a difference between occasional forgetfulness and signs of dementia. Knowing the differences can prevent needless worry.

A memory lapse is just that — a temporary failure to remember something.  It’s forgetting a phone number or the name of a close friend you knew a long time ago.

The main difference between a memory lapse — normal forgetfulness — and a serious memory disorder is that normal forgetfulness may be annoying, but it does not disrupt your ability to function in daily life.

Examples of normal forgetfulness include:

  • where you last put your glasses, your car keys or other objects you use regularly
  • a street name someone just told you, or the name of a movie star in a film you just saw
  • events and dates you used to recall without pause, and yet now it seems to take longer to remember them
  • the reason you walked into a room, knowing you came to get something, but forgetting what you came for

Warning Signs for the Onset of Dementia, Including Alzheimer’s Disease

Dementia-related memory loss is a cognitive disorder that’s a progressive, real loss of memory. It impairs your ability to function in daily life, including accomplishing everyday tasks, such as shopping, cooking and driving. Its frequency and extremes become noticeable to family and friends.

Symptoms of a serious memory condition include:

  • asking the same questions over and over again
  • getting lost in places you know well, such as your house or neighborhood
  • not being able to follow simple, basic directions
  • becoming more confused about time, people and places
  • not taking care of yourself — eating poorly, not bathing or being unsafe

For more information, read Age-Related Memory Loss: When It’s Normal, When It’s a Warning Sign. (PDF) 

Tips for Caregivers  

Caregiving for loved ones with dementia, including Alzheimer’s Disease, can be an overwhelming and demanding responsibility. It requires overseeing their day-to-day care while also managing their communication challenges, personality changes, relationships with friends and family, and more.

There are many resources providing tips, support and advice for the caregiver. Both the National Institute on Aging and the Alzheimer’s Association have dedicated sections on their websites for caregivers.

You can’t look after your loved ones if you don’t look after yourself. 

  • Take time for a hobby, leisure activity or anything you enjoy, even if it is only for a few minutes.
  • Stay active with exercise, yard work, gardening and other pursuits. It can offer a welcomed distraction and ease stress.
  • Socialize with friends and family members. If you can't get out of the house, e-mail, social networking and the telephone are wonderful ways to stay connected with others.
  • Take care of your health with regular checkups, healthful eating, exercise and rest. Because they often ignore their own needs, family caregivers are less likely than non-caregivers to practice preventive health and self-care behavior.

Cognitive Neurology Treatment Information for Physicians

Physicians may want to consider referring patients to OhioHealth Cognitive Neurology for the following reasons.

Patient displays:

  • Difficulties with memory, attention/executive function, language, visuospatial apraxias
  • Changes in personality, ability to concentrate, social skills
  • Lack of initiative or motivation in the absence of depression

Consultation or assessment is required for patients with:

  • Common and complex clinical syndromes of primary neurodegenerative diseases
  • Common and complex clinical syndromes of secondary cognitive dysfunction
  • Family history of neurodegenerative disease

Neuroscience Center Stroke Signs