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Dementia can occur with several different diseases. It refers to symptoms that affect memory, thinking and social abilities severely enough to interfere with daily functioning. Once thought to be a normal effect of aging, dementia is now known to be caused by brain cell damage.

The University of Kansas Health System provides dementia screening and treatment options for people in the Kansas City region and beyond. Our skilled professionals focus on accurately diagnosing dementia and its cause. We provide treatment to control symptoms and slow progression of the disease.

What is dementia?

Dementia is not a specific disease. Instead, it refers to a combination of conditions that impair normal brain functions like memory and judgment. One of the most common forms of dementia is Alzheimer's disease, but there are many additional forms of dementia. Our neurology team can help determine the precise causes of dementia in older adults.

We offer a variety of appointment types. Learn more or call 913-588-1227 to schedule now.

Dementia symptoms and risks

Common indicators of dementia include:

  • Changes in behavior and personality
  • Difficulty completing familiar tasks
  • Difficulty with planning, organizing or concentrating
  • Language problems, such as struggling to get words out or understand spoken words
  • Memory loss

There are several factors that can increase your risk of developing dementia:

Dementia diagnosis and screening

Properly diagnosing dementia and the type of dementia is challenging. Doctors need to identify the particular pattern of memory loss and cognitive decline. Some types of dementia, like Alzheimer’s, have certain biomarkers (measurable signs) that help doctors make a more accurate diagnosis.

A dementia diagnosis begins with a complete medical history and symptom review. Your doctor will ask questions about daily life and will likely also interview a person close to you as well, such as a spouse or other caregiver. Your doctor may also ask you to take tests that measure certain thinking and memory skills.

In some cases, your doctor may request additional tests and scans:

  • A PET scan can show the presence of certain protein deposits in the brain that are associated with Alzheimer’s disease
  • An MRI or CT scan can take pictures of your brain to find evidence of a stroke
  • Lab tests to check for a vitamin deficiency or underlying health conditions that could affect cognitive ability, such as a urinary tract infection
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Support for caregivers

Coping with the impact of dementia can be as hard on caregivers as on patients. We offer events and seminars to help caregivers learn how to approach daily care for loved ones with dementia. We share ideas on how to alter your communications to remain patient and reduce frustration while supporting your loved one.
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Dementia treatment

Dementia, unfortunately, cannot be cured. But there are treatments that help people manage dementia symptoms and optimize their quality of life:

  • Medications that ease mood, behavior and sleep challenges
  • Physical and mental exercises
  • Social stimulation

Why choose us for dementia treatment

  • In partnership with the University of Kansas Medical Center, we are one of only 32 nationally designated Alzheimer's disease centers in the nation.
  • Several of our neurologists focus solely on dementia and memory disorders and offer expertise second to none. In addition to leading the field in patient care, these specialists conduct innovative research that may one day yield a cure.
  • To help patients in all aspects of coping with dementia, we partner with Turning Point to assist patients and families in managing challenges associated with dementia.
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Ranked among the nation’s best

Our program ranked among the nation’s best in U.S. News & World Report’s Best Hospitals 2020-21. Rankings are based on measurable achievements in quality, safety, nursing excellence and more. We are proud to provide you and your loved ones with nationally recognized neurology and neurosurgery care.

Read about this honor

Specialized care for cognitive disorders

Diagnosis of a cognitive impairment can bring up questions and uncertainty. Our Cognitive Care Network, in partnership with the University of Kansas Alzheimer’s Disease Center, provides education and support for individuals and families living with this diagnosis. We know it’s important to diagnose mild cognitive impairment (MCI), Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias early. This helps the person diagnosed, family members and providers work together to support wellness and positive changes. Our interdisciplinary team’s health empowerment model aids understanding and management of these cognitive changes.

Call us at 913-945-7310 more information.

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