Dementia Treatment & Care


Dementia is a general term for symptoms like decline in memory, reasoning or other thinking skills but is not a single disease.  Dementia covers a broad range of specific medical conditions. One of the most common is Alzheimer’s disease which accounts for approximately 60-80%, followed by Vascular Dementia. But dementia is also a sign of other neurological conditions.  Many disorders with the term “dementia” are triggered is by a decline in thinking or cognitive function.  Dementia is different than a “normal lack of memory.” It is severe enough to impair regular daily life or independent functions as well as cause issues with relationships and behavior.


What Causes Dementia?


Dementia is caused by damaged brain cells that interfere with the ability for other brain cells to communicate with each other.  The brain is composed of several regions and when normal communication doesn’t occur, it affects these regions and a person’s thinking, behavior and feelings.  Alzheimer’s disease is the leading cause of dementia.


Dementia Symptoms:


  • Problems with short-term memory
  • Keeping track of everyday items
  • Remembering to pay bills
  • Keeping track of appointments
  • Everyday living skills
  • Difficulty communicating or finding words
  • Psychological changes


Types of Dementia


There are reversible and non-reversable forms of dementia.  The most common reversable forms of dementia are infections and immune disorders, metabolic problems and endocrine abnormalities, nutritional deficiencies, side effects from medications, subdural hematomas, heavy metal poisoning, normal-pressure hydrocephalus, anoxia and rarely brain tumors. Alzheimer’s, Vascular, Lewy body dementia, Frontotemporal dementia, mixed dementia and some other disorders linked to dementia that are non-reversible.


Dementia Treatment – The Importance of an Early Diagnosis


There are many benefits to getting an early diagnosis of dementia.  Getting an early diagnosis allows you to maximize your quality of life.  It allows you to get nutrients you may be deficient in or the appropriate medication needed for non-reversible conditions like Alzheimer’s disease.  It also allows you to gain access to the vast amounts of resources and support that is available.  Getting an early diagnosis and dementia treatment also allows you and your family to understand the recent changes you have been experiencing and to better plan your future.


Dementia Conditions We Treat


We see several patients with neurological conditions.  These are the specific conditions related to Dementia we most commonly treat:

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Frontotemporal dementia (FTD)
  • Lewy body dementia
  • Vascular dementia


Dementia Tests and Clinical Trials


We offer free memory screenings to assist in diagnosing dementia. We also participate in several clinical trials related to Alzheimer’s disease and Lewy body dementia and are connected to several resources that can be beneficial in managing dementia.

Caregiver’s Newsletter


For more information on Alzheimer’s disease and many other helpful links please read this month’s Alzheimer’s Caregivers Newsletter.

The Caregivers Role


At times, caring for your loved one will be very stressful because you have to deal with the following on a regular basis:

  • The emotional strain of watching a loved one lose precious memories and gradually decline
  • The physical strain associated with moving, adjusting, or restraining your loved one
  • Nearly constant unpredictability and an overall lack of control
  • Secondary stress from other relationships and employment (or lack of)

As a caregiver, you are called upon to exhibit high levels of patience, diligence, perseverance, and vigilance. You will be constantly learning about the disease, how to best care for your loved one, and the ins and outs of the healthcare system. You will also become very familiar with your loved one’s medical history, financial affairs, and other intimate details of their life that you may not have known before.

The Caregivers Role is Expensive


Whether you choose to hire a live-in nurse, place your loved one in a care facility, or have your loved one move in with you, each option has its own expenses. While it may seem like hiring a live-in nurse or a care facility is much more expensive at first glance, keep in mind that if your loved one moves in with you, then that also means that you may need to reduce or eliminate your current employment.

Caregivers often provide financial support for their loved one suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. That means that housing, clothing, and food are all now the caregiver’s responsibility. Of course, there are also the other expenses associated with the disease, like medical costs, to consider as well. In Florida, those caring for Alzheimer’s patients may be able to utilize Medicaid money to help pay for the costs associated with this care. Find out more about that program here.

The Palm Beach Neurological Center offers a support group for Alzheimer’s disease caregivers. For more information, contact us by calling 888-369-1010.

Alzheimer’s Care Resource Center