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  • Memory and aging program

    Memory Disorders Clinic

    The Memory Disorders Clinic is a multidisciplinary clinic founded in 1984 as part of the federally funded Alzheimer's Disease Research Center (ADRC) and the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging. It provides services to individuals with memory problems and their families.

  • About the clinic

    Referral to the Memory Disorders Clinic is generally made by a medical professional, usually the family doctor. The clinic provides evaluations, offering advice to families and referring physicians. The clinic will work with the patient until an evaluation is provided, at which point the patient will usually return to seeing his or her referring doctor.

  • Alzheimer's disease

    Alzheimer's Disease is one of the most common forms of dementia, comprising 50-75% of all cases. Dementia is a general term for impairment, or loss of intellectual capacity or memory, due to the loss/damage to neurons in the brain. The greatest known risk factor for Alzheimer's dementia is increasing age. Patients rarely show symptoms before the age of 50, but risk for the disease quickly doubles every 5 years, starting from a level of 1% for the 60 to 64-year-old population and reaching 40% or more for the 85 to 89-year-old cohort.

    These symptoms are thought to be due to the progressive loss of neurons in the cerebral cortex of the brain, usually involving the frontal lobe. This degeneration usually results in progressive loss of mental function, which worsens over time. Dementia, in the case of Alzheimer's Disease, can advance to be serious enough to interfere with daily life.

    Learn more about the causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer's disease in our library »

  • Evaluation

    The clinic offers initial diagnostic evaluations for adults with suspected neurologic diseases affecting memory, language, visuospatial function or other aspects of cognition. The clinic offers particular expertise in the evaluation and care of patients with late-life cognitive disorders such as vascular dementia and Alzheimer's disease. Physicians have special expertise in the diagnostic evaluation of puzzling cognitive disorders occurring in any adult.

    The evaluation process is extensive, and it takes time and effort. This can be frustrating for patients and families. However, the comprehensive evaluation is worthwhile because many factors are taken into account in reaching the diagnosis, and recommendations are based on a careful assessment.

    Each patient undergoes objective neuropsychological assessment, a social service evaluation, review of previous medical records and radiologic studies, followed by a complete neurologic evaluation. This information is evaluated thoroughly at a formal diagnostic review conference. Get more information on what to expect at your evaluation » 


    The clinic offers promising new research protocols to those patients with dementias that are currently thought untreatable.

  • Appointments

    Most commonly, patients are referred through their primary care provider or neurologist.