Frequently Asked Questions Questions About Memory Loss and Alzheimer's Disease Is noticeable memory loss a normal part of aging? Absolutely not. While mild forgetfulness and incidences where you can’t remember an acquaintance’s name may be normal, other more frequent and severe memory problems are not part of the aging process. These may be indicative of a variety of medical problems, such as a vitamin B-12 deficiency, to depression or Alzheimer’s disease. Anyone who has persistent or distressing memory lapses should be seen by a doctor. If someone has a family member who has AD, will that person be destined to also get it? While there is a slight increased risk for family members, especially when the person has early onset AD (early 40-50 years old), this hardly means that you will be next. Alzheimer’s is a fickle disease and scientists still have not come up with any conclusive answers as to who will get the disease and who will not. Once someone is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, what can be done to treat it? While no definite cure for Alzheimer’s has been found, the medical community has developed several medications that can help slow down the process or ease symptoms. Scientific discoveries are constantly being made that can significantly improve the quality of life of someone who has been diagnosed with AD. Can Alzheimer’s disease be caused by aluminum? Scientists have yet to find a clear connection between aluminum and Alzheimer’s disease, especially in the small quantities that you might get exposed to by drinking from aluminum cans or using aluminum foil. Clinic Questions 3-4 recent office notes Lab work over the last 6 months Any MRI/CT scans of the head Current medication list What kinds of services are available through your clinic? We offer a specialty service that focuses on patients with memory problems due to dementia and/or probable Alzheimer's. We evaluate the patient and make recommendations to the primary care physician. Family members are encouraged to attend the initial visit, as this is a good time to ask questions and to provide input. What do you do for testing? The doctor will administer a physical and/or a neurological exam. Also, the doctor, psychologist and/or a trained rater may conduct a mini mental state examination and sometimes other additional cognitive tests. The mini mental state examination and other cognitive testing involve a verbal interview and some paper-and-pencil exercises. How long does a visit take? Usually, you can expect to be here for 1½ hours at the most. Will I, as a caregiver, have a chance to talk with the doctor alone? Yes. The doctors often talk with family members while the patient is not present. It is important that family or concerned caregivers be at the initial visit. How much will this cost? Does my insurance cover this visit? If you have health insurance the cost would be no different than any other specialty office visit. If the patient does not have any insurance we will make a referral to Charity Care at Strong Memorial Hospital to see if the patient qualifies. What do I have to do to make an appointment for my family member? Call (585) 273-5454 to begin this process. Before we set up an appointment we like to review records from the patient’s primary care provider, including: Prior to your visit, we also like to review the completed demographic packet, which will be mailed to you in advance. Please indicate on the cover sheet the person we should call to set up an appointment. Once the demographic packet is reviewed, we will then call to schedule the appointment. How long do I have to wait for an appointment? Currently, the clinic is scheduling appointments approximately four to five weeks from now. You may call (585) 273-5454 to ask about the most current waiting time or to schedule an appointment.