Aging and Dementia Treatments and Services

At your visit to ColumbiaDoctors Neurology Aging and Dementia Practice, you can expect to receive a comprehensive neurological examination from one of our neurologists, each of whom offers particular expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of memory impairment and brain-behavior disorders. Your initial examination will include a thorough review of your medical history, including detailed descriptions of cognitive complaints, and changes in behavior.

Following your initial examination, your neurologist willcoordinate any additional evaluations that are required in order to provide you and your family with a complete treatment plan. This additional testing may be arranged the same day (depending on availability) or scheduled separately, and may include:

  • Neuropsychological testing to thoroughly assess memory and thinking
  • Laboratory analyses—blood and CSF (for possible nutritional and vitamin deficiencies, thyroid imbalance, inflammation, or infections)
  • Brain structural imaging tests such as MRI or CT
  • Brain functional imaging such as SPECT or metabolic PET
  • Molecular imaging including amyloid imaging PET or ioflupane-SPECT
  • Vascular tests such as carotid ultrasound or MRA
  • Biomarker testing of spinal fluid (CSF)
  • Genetic testing (in consultation with our genetic counselor)

You may be referred to our genetic counselor to review your family history, and to discuss your interest and the availability of genetic testing for your condition, and what the results of that genetic test means for you and your family members. Patients who visit our center may also benefit from the social services offered by our licensed clinical social worker, who is available to meet with patients and families after appointments or at a separate time to provide support, referrals, and guidance on the following:

  • Navigating healthcare systems
  • Questions regarding disability
  • Referral for legal services
  • Home health services
  • Late stage planning including understanding advanced directives and guidance in placement process
  • Supportive counseling

At your visit, your neurologist can discuss the opportunity to participate in both state-of-the art observational research studies and clinical trials of the most advanced drugs in development.