Geriatric Memory Assessment Clinic Opens at Boston Medical Center
(Boston, Mass.) — Boston Medical Center (BMC) recently opened the Geriatric Memory Assessment Clinic to provide careful diagnosis, treatment, education and family support to those coping with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. The clinic is run jointly by the Departments of Neurology and Geriatrics at BMC.
Any physician can refer seniors who experience symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia to the Memory Assessment Clinic. At the clinic, a neurologist and a geriatrician may see the patient and collaborate in their evaluation of the patient’s loss of memory. Often seniors are also seen by a neuropsychologist, who provides more detailed memory testing, addresses competency issues — such as whether it is safe for the patient to continue driving — and helps the patient’s family cope with their loved one’s memory loss.
Once a diagnosis is determined, the team of medical professionals meets with the patient and his or her family to discuss treatment, social support services and other resources. “We always include family members in any discussion,” said Robert Green, MD, MPH, associate professor of neurology at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM), and director of the clinical core of Boston University Medical Center’s (BUMC) National Institute of Aging funded Alzheimer’s Disease Center.
“Alzheimer’s is a family disease, in that it effects everyone close to the patient. The more we can educate family members about Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, the better off the patient and their family will be.”
Many patients seen in the clinic participate in the Alzheimer’s Disease Center, where research focuses on risk factors and treatments for the disease. There are four separate National Institutes of Health-funded research programs currently underway at BUMC.
“Several new treatments are available that can offer modest symptomatic improvements and help preserve function, and more dramatic new treatments are on the horizon,” said Green. “We are fortunate to have the tremendous opportunity here at BUMC to not only treat patients suffering from Alzheimer’s but to offer them the chance to participate in and benefit from cutting edge research into the causes and treatments of this disease.”