Dementia is a group of symptoms that interfere with certain functions of the brain, such as memory, language, and decision making. These symptoms stem from various diseases, but Alzheimer’s is one of the most common, especially with progressive dementia. Alzheimer’s, along with Huntington’s and Parkinson’s, are degenerative diseases that destroy nerve cells in the brain. This destruction disrupts the ability to think and reason and may impact social abilities as well. The effects of dementia can affect normal, day-to-day functions, as well as social behaviors and mood or personality.
Other symptoms of dementia include confusion, memory loss, and a sudden inability to remember simple instructions, names, or directions. Although memory loss often is associated with dementia, it does not mean that all episodes of memory loss are necessarily caused by or related to dementia. Dementia can be treated if caused by alcohol or drug abuse or hormone imbalances. Severe bouts of depression also may cause symptoms similar to dementia and is considered to be a false, or pseudo-dementia. There is no cure for dementia that is not caused by a secondary condition.
The UAB Memory Disorders Clinic is the only such university-based specialty clinic in the state. We provide the most advanced level of patient care and continually find new ways to improve the outlook for people with memory disorders. We also are committed to helping each family assist the patient in maintaining the highest quality of life and mental function possible.
The clinic is led by a nationally recognized team of neurologists who are specialty trained in evaluating memory disorders, recognizing their causes, prescribing appropriate treatments, and participating in research studies to better understand the causes of and best treatments for memory problems.
The UAB Memory Disorders Clinic routinely conducts clinical trials through the NIH and others to further the knowledge in memory disorders, potentially giving our patients convenient access to treatments not available at most other medical centers.
Members of our UAB memory team work together closely to ensure that the experience for patients and their families is seamless and comfortable. Our excellent nursing team includes nurse practitioners to coordinate patient care in collaboration with physicians. Nurses are available to answer questions and provide support to patients and their families both in person and over the phone.
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