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Memory Disorders Clinic

The Madonna Ptak Center for Alzheimer's and Memory Loss provides comprehensive care to patients with Alzheimer's and other memory loss disorders. Our multi-disciplinary approach allows us to offer a variety of services to our patients with the goal of reducing the long-term impact of memory disorders and helping the patient live a more functionable life.

The elements of our memory disorders program include:

  • A multi-disciplinary clinic, including neurology and psychology
  • Neuro-imaging, including MRI, PET and angiography
  • Laboratory evaluations
  • Neuropsychological evaluations
  • New Alzheimer's disease clinical drug trials
  • Speech pathology and cognitive therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Nutritional therapy
  • Complementary therapy
  • Access to community resources

Symptoms

While we all forget things from time to time, people with memory disorders display subtle symptoms that indicate their forgetfulness may be caused by disease. Watch for these warning signs:

  • Recent memory loss that affects job skills. While it is normal to occasionally forget names or assignments, those with AD or other memory disorders forget things more often and do not remember them later.
  • Difficulty performing familiar tasks. People with Alzheimer’s can prepare a meal but forget they made it or forget what a dishwasher is used for.
  • Problems with language. An individual with AD may forget simple words or substitute inappropriate words, making sentences incomprehensible.
  • Disorientation. Individuals with AD can become lost on their own street, not knowing where they are, how they got there or how to get back home.
  • Problems with abstract thinking. When balancing a checkbook, those with AD may forget completely what the numbers represent and what needs to be done with them.
  • Misplacing things. Anyone can temporarily misplace a wallet or keys, but an individual with AD may put things in inappropriate places, such as placing an iron in the refrigerator.
  • Changes in mood or personality. Someone with AD can exhibit rapid mood swings—from calm to tears to anger—for no apparent reason. They may also become extremely confused, suspicious, or fearful.
  • Loss of initiative. Individuals with AD may become very passive and require cues and prompting to become involved.

If you're experiencing these warning signs or would like more information about our Memory Disorders Clinic, please call (727) 461-8635.

Prevention

At this time, there is no definitive way to prevent Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and other memory disorders. However, the risk of vascular dementia can be reduced with careful control of hypertension, diabetes and cholesterol—and smoking cessation. 

Support Groups

We offer bimonthly support groups for early-stage Alzheimer's patients and for Alzheimer's caregivers. Learn more about this disease, and receive support and encouragement when you need it the most.

Treatment for Memory Disorders

Treatment for memory disorder patients begins with accurate, detailed testing procedures to determine if a condition is Alzheimer’s disease, another type of memory disorder or another condition. Memory loss and other problems with cognition or mood can be due to depression or other causes. That's why a detailed medical evaluation is so important.

Our team includes a neuropsychologist who is specially trained to conduct in-depth testing of each patient’s abstract reasoning, executive functioning and emotional health. Our personalized testing helps correctly identify the cause of a patient’s symptoms so that patients can receive immediate and appropriate treatment.

Comprehensive Treatment Program

Our Memory Disorders Clinic offers a comprehensive treatment program that includes all FDA-approved prescription drugs, as well as over-the-counter herbal supplements that can improve brain function, and occupational and nutritional therapy. Our team not only provides a personalized treatment plan for each patient, we also communicate the patient’s current and future needs to family members and other caregivers. Our team’s social worker trains family members and links caregivers with local support groups and other community resources.

New Prescription Drug Now Available

We offer Alzheimer’s patients a new drug treatment called Namenda®(memantine HCl) that was recently approved by the FDA. Plaque depositions present in the brain of Alzheimer’s patients are usually accompanied by inflammation that causes further damage. Namenda reduces inflammation and has been shown in clinical trials to slow the decline in brain function for these patients. It can be taken alone or with other prescription drugs to improve the lifestyle of many Alzheimer’s patients.

For more information about our Memory Disorders Clinic or the treatment options discussed in this section, please call (727) 461-8635.

Early-stage Alzheimer's Patient Support Group
Date: 1st and 3rd Monday of every month
Time: 1pm
Location: Ptak Orthopaedic and Neuroscience Pavilion
Conference Center, Room 114
430 Morton Plant St., Clearwater
Maps & Directions
Alzheimer's Caregivers' Support Group
Date: 2nd and 4th Monday of every month
Time: 10am
Location: Ptak Orthopaedic and Neuroscience Pavilion
Conference Center, Room 114
430 Morton Plant St., Clearwater
Maps & Directions

For more information on our support groups, please call (727) 298-6384.