Taub Institute: Genomics Core
AN NIA-FUNDED ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE RESEARCH CENTER

 

Columbia University
Medical Center
Neurological Institute

710 West 168th Street, 3rd floor
(212) 305-6939


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patient care overview

Taub Institute physicians provide comprehensive clinical evaluations to patients with memory complaints, Alzheimer's disease, and other types of dementias.

Changes in memory and thinking abilities can occur from a variety of conditions, not just Alzheimer's Disease. We offer a thorough, multidisciplinary evaluation of memory and thinking difficulties from Columbia University, College of Physicians & Surgeons specialists. Our neurologists, psychiatrists, and neuropsychologists offer the following diagnostic procedures at our offices:

Initial neurological evaluation
The doctor will take an extensive history followed by a general neurological and specialty examination lasting approximately one hour. After this thorough evaluation, the doctor may determine that no further testing is required, or may refer you for some additional tests:

  • Laboratory tests
    A laboratory work-up is performed to eliminate some causes of memory problems. This may include tests for thyroid and liver function, vitamin levels, and anemia. If necessary, special tests for chronic infections, inflammatory diseases, and autoimmune illnesses may be ordered.
  • Brain Imaging
    Brain imaging may be necessary to determine the presence of abnormalities which can cause memory loss. Your doctor may order structural imaging such as CT scan or MRI scan which image the anatomy of the brain and allow us to determine whether small stokes, hydrocephalus, or brain tumors could be causing the memory loss. Your doctor may order functional imaging such as a SPECT or PET scans, which measure blood flow to brain regions or the use of nutrients by areas of the brain. Such scans can pinpoint areas of difficulty when an MRI or CT scan is normal.
  • Neuropsychological testing
    A neuropsychological evaluation consists of objective pencil and paper tests to evaluate memory, language skills, concentration, intelligence, visuospatial skills, motor skills, executive functioning, and personality functioning and is used in conjunction with other medical and radiological tests to identify specific neurological disorders affecting the brain. The evaluation usually lasts 3-5 hours.

Informing Visit
After the evaluation and all tests are completed. The patient and family return for an informing visit to review the test results, discuss the diagnosis, and determine a treatment and management strategy.

Treatment
Medications to treat the memory and behavioral problems associated with Alzheimer's disease and other memory disorders will be prescribed as needed. Referral to the social worker and information about drug studies may be provided if appropriate.

If you or a loved one are experiencing memory problems, please schedule an appointment with Taub Institute physicians at one of our three facilities.

 

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