Memory and Aging
Serious memory loss or dementia is not a part of normal aging. When memory loss starts to affect daily life, you may need to be referred to a specialist. We work with you and your family to provide therapy, slow disease progress and improve your quality of life.
BJC HealthCare works with Washington University physicians, BJC Medical Group, and providers across the region to deliver extraordinary care. We believe in comprehensive, expert care for all our patients. We use advanced testing and treatments to help increase your quality of life.
- Research focus: Our neurologists and neurosurgeons are leaders in the treatment and research of Alzheimer’s disease and related memory disorders. Our studies into the causes, symptoms and onset of Alzheimer’s disease translate into more successful treatments for our patients — and hope for an eventual cure.
- Multispecialty team: We offer a multidisciplinary approach to care, bringing together a team of experts to safely and effectively treat your individual needs.
- Personalized care: Our personalized approach to care ensures that your physical, emotional and spiritual needs are met in the most coordinated, compassionate manner possible.
Our specialists evaluate people who may have a memory disorder, as well those who have problems with thinking, language or behavior. There is no single test to diagnose dementia. We may work to diagnose memory disorders by:
Assessing memory and thinking skills with paper and pencil tests
Evaluating your health history
Giving a complete physical and neurological exam
Ordering additional testing, as needed
We aim to finish your initial evaluation during one appointment. You will be seen by a full team, including a physician, trained nurse practitioner and neuropsychologist, all working together to find an accurate diagnosis and develop a treatment plan. For the first appointment, we ask that you bring another person with you, such as a spouse, friend or caregiver, who can help answer questions.
Early detection of dementia allows you to begin therapy designed to slow the progression of memory loss and cognitive decline. Although there is no cure for most types of dementia, medications may improve symptoms and enhance quality of life.
Memory disorders occur when changes in your brain affect your ability to store or bring up memories. These conditions can also affect your cognitive skills, problem-solving and language. Some people may also use the term dementia, which refers to memory loss and cognitive decline that interferes with your daily life.
The most common cause of dementia in older people is Alzheimer’s disease. But there are other brain disorders that can also cause dementia.
Types of memory disorders include:
Lewy body disease
Mild cognitive impairment
Normal pressure hydrocephalus
Progressive supranuclear palsy