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Alzheimer's

Alzheimer's Memory Care at Lee Health

If you or someone you love have been diagnosed with dementia caused by Alzheimer's disease, you'll be in good hands with Lee Health's Memory Care Program. We support both you and your family in managing Alzheimer's disease to help delay the onset of debilitating conditions that could lessen your independence.

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Signs and Symptoms of Alzheimer's Disease

Being able to recognize the signs and symptoms of Alzheimer's disease is important for early intervention and care. Here is what to look out for: 

Early signs and symptoms: In the early stages of Alzheimer's, one may experience memory loss, struggle with familiar tasks, or have difficulty finding the right words. Other symptoms include challenges in problem-solving, confusion about time or place, poor judgment, withdrawal from social activities, and changes in mood or personality.

Advance in symptoms: Alzheimer's disease progresses in stages, with symptoms gradually getting worse over time. Moderate stage symptoms include increased memory loss and confusion, difficulty with language and communication, and behavioral changes. In the severe stage, individuals may require assistance with daily activities, lose awareness of their surroundings, and experience significant memory loss.

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Diagnosing Alzheimer's Disease

Alzheimer’s disease is diagnosed locally through our Memory Care program—a state of Florida-funded Memory Disorder Clinic. Memory Care utilizes a team approach to diagnosing memory impairment in the geriatric population of Southwest Florida.

The recommended standard evaluation includes:

  • Medical, social and family history
  • Physical examination
  • Blood tests
  • Neurological diagnosis (may require MRI, CT or PET scan)
  • Neuropsychological testing
  • Psychosocial assessment and planning
  • Possible medication treatments

Understanding Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer's disease is a type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior, interfering with daily tasks over time. We interact with patients very early in the disease progression, when impairment is typically mild. Working together with a patient’s primary care physician, our Memory Care program ensures proper diagnosis and provides evaluations, treatment and family counseling.

Alzheimer's Care & Ongoing Monitoring

After diagnosis, memory care also involves a team approach. Once a plan of care is established and discussed with the patient and his or her caregiver, the Memory Care team sends results to the patient’s primary care physician and any other specialists on the patient’s care team. This ensures coordinated, efficient and effective care. Our Memory Care team also provides patients and caregivers appropriate community resources and assists in aligning services specific to each patient’s situation.

CT (Computed Tomography) scans are diagnostic imaging procedures that enable physicians to obtain detailed visuals of the brain's anatomy. Although CT scans are less sensitive than MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) for identifying the minor brain alterations linked to early Alzheimer's disease, they still play a role in the Alzheimer's diagnostic process. CT scans are used to identify brain atrophy, rule out other conditions, identifying vascular conditions and more.

The procedure is performed by a specially trained EEG technologist to measure brain activity, and neurologists utilize the results to aid in the diagnosis and treatment of a possible neurological disorder. For Alzheimer's diagnosis, EEG can detect abnormalities in brain activity before structural brain changes are visible on MRI or CT scans and before Alzheimer's symptoms start to present.

MRI is a commonly used diagnostic procedure to evaluate and diagnose Alzheimer's disease. Radiologists and oncologists often use advanced MRI technology to obtain visual detail of the brain to identify the presence of shrinkage of specific brain regions, lesions, plaques, or other markers that indicate Alzheimer's diesease.

These tests can acquire information about a patient's cognitive, motor, behavioral, linguistic and executive functioning and lead to the diagnosis of a cognitive deficit related to Alzheimer's disease.

Call us today to find out more information about your treatment options, to schedule a consultation or to make an appointment. Our phone number is 239-343-9220.

  • Memory Care Caregiver Support

    Learn more about Lee Health's caregiver support options, including resources, guidance, and community to ease the journey of caring for loved ones with memory conditions.

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