The Behavioral and Geriatric Neurology program focuses on patients with late-life, neurodegenerative disorders, especially those producing dementia. The program has clinical, educational, and research activities. In the area of clinical care, the program has a Memory Disorders Clinic for evaluation of late-life causes of dementia. Clinical evaluations are performed in the Clinical Neurosciences Center. Laboratory tests, brain imaging (e.g. Head CT, Brain MRI), and Neuropsychological testing are an important part of initial diagnostic evaluations. In selected patients, spinal fluid biomarkers and/or PET imaging can be used to help make a diagnosis in difficult cases. Genetic testing and counseling are available for patients and families with genetic forms of neurodegenerative diseases. The most common causes of dementia in our clinic are Alzheimer’s disease, Lewy Body Dementias (i.e. Dementia with Lewy Bodies or Parkinson’s disease with Dementia), Frontotemporal Dementias and Vascular Dementia.
Medical students, Neurology Residents and Geriatric Medicine Fellows rotate through the Memory Disorders Clinic each year. Continuing medical education lectures are given on Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias locally, regionally, and nationally. The Behavioral and Geriatric Neurology program is active in clinical trials for new medications for patients with Alzheimer’s disease. We are currently participating in national phase III clinical trials for new medications for Alzheimer's disease, including prevention trials for normal older adults who are at increase risk of Alzheimer's disease and other trials for patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease. Health services and outcomes research is an important focus of the research program. This research includes studies of the cost-effectiveness of new therapeutic treatments for Alzheimer’s disease and studies of the impact of receiving quality dementia care.
Behavioral and Geriatric Neurology Program’s Mission Statement:
For patients with cognitive impairment causing dementia symptoms:
- Provide the highest quality clinical care
- Educate students and practicing physicians about the care of patients with dementia
- Develop a nationally recognized clinical and translational research programs