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UT Southwestern Medical Center’s team of researchers and physicians offers the most advanced care for patients with memory disorders, including mild cognitive impairments, Alzheimer's disease, and other dementias. Our services and research also extend help to patients’ families and caregivers, providing education and support at every stage of their journey.
Compassionate, Innovative Care for Memory Disorders
When memory loss affects a person’s daily life, it might be a sign of a degenerative disease or memory disorder. Memory loss can be caused by many conditions, and it’s important that patients discuss these concerns with their doctor in order to identify the cause, help manage symptoms, and to improve quality of life.
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common degenerative brain disorder, and UT Southwestern is at the forefront of research and care for the disease.
Our behavioral neurology section provides clinical evaluations and care for patients with memory concerns. This team conducts clinical trials and research funded by the National Institute on Aging and the Texas Alzheimer’s Research and Care Consortium to test new treatments and methods to more accurately diagnose the different causes of dementia. They seek to better understand the causes of Alzheimer's disease and dementia with Lewy bodies as well as other causes of dementia. In addition, UT Southwestern’s Center for Alzheimer’s and Neurodegenerative Diseases, led by Marc Diamond, M.D., uses a multidisciplinary approach to speed the development of effective treatment for neurodegenerative diseases.
In addition to Alzheimer’s disease, memory disorders treated at UT Southwestern include:
- Mild cognitive impairment
- Lewy body disease (dementia with Lewy bodies)
- Frontotemporal dementia
- Progressive supranuclear palsy
- Memory disorders associated with other neurological disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and Huntington’s disease
Our diverse, highly trained clinical team includes:
- Board-certified neurologists
- Advanced practice providers (APPs)
- A neuropsychologist, who collaborates closely with the Department of Neuropsychology
- A psychometrist (an expert in administering psychological and neuropsychological tests)
- A nurse and a licensed vocational nurse
Additionally, our clinical research team comprises numerous research coordinators, a psychometrist, and two data specialists.
Patients at UT Southwestern receive comprehensive diagnostic evaluation to identify and classify any existing cognitive or memory problems or disorders.
We offer the most advanced diagnostics to provide a roadmap for treatment. Our diagnostic tests include:
- Neuropsychological testing
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans
- Positron emission tomography (PET) scans
- Lumbar puncture
Clinical Trials and Research Breakthroughs
One of the earliest changes in the brains of people developing Alzheimer’s disease is the accumulation of the amyloid protein. Several clinical research studies at UT Southwestern are testing medications to prevent accumulation of amyloid. Some studies enroll people with normal memory and cognition who have evidence of amyloid deposited in the brain. These studies test the ability of medications to prevent the development of dementia. Others enroll people with mild memory symptoms with the aim of preventing further cognitive decline.
The protein tau also plays a critical role in Alzheimer’s disease. Tau is an important focus of the research conducted at UT Southwestern’s Center for Alzheimer’s and Neurodegenerative Diseases, whose work is focused on developing treatments that halt the progression of dementia due to Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases. Our clinical research team will soon be launching studies that test antibodies that block tau from depositing in the brain.
Work with our UT Southwestern neuroimmunology researchers has led to important discoveries related to how the immune system plays a key role in the spread of amyloid and tau in the brain. These findings highlight another important pathway that can be targeted in our fight against Alzheimer’s disease.
Our clinical research team works closely with many laboratories across the UT Southwestern campus to improve our ability to accurately diagnose Alzheimer’s disease.
- With Peter Sguigna, M.D., we are testing the ability of optical coherence tomography to measure blood vessels in the retina as a means to detect Alzheimer’s disease at an early stage.
- In collaboration with Elizabeth Davenport, Ph.D., we are studying the use of sophisticated measurement of the magnetic signals in the brain (magnetoencephalopgraphy) as a means to detect early changes of Alzheimer’s disease and the spread of the tau protein.
- Our group is working with Frank Yu, M.D., to study advanced MRI techniques that will inform the cellular impacts of Alzheimer’s disease.
- We also work closely with researchers at UT Dallas to understand the mechanisms of memory and to test new treatments that may improve our treatment of other conditions, such as post-traumatic stress disorder.
An exciting breakthrough technology has been the identification of high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) as a possible treatment for Alzheimer’s disease, and as a technique that can aid more accurate diagnosis of neurodegenerative diseases. We are working with Bhavya Shah, M.D., to further develop this technology and to test its ability to treat Alzheimer’s disease.
January 8, 2020
Results: 5 Locations
Richardson, Texas 75080 972-669-7195
Dallas, Texas 75390 214-645-8650