Neurobehavior and Cognitive Disorders

Neurologists at Harper University Hospital and Wayne State University are nationally known for leading-edge research and innovative care of patients with dementia. Neurobehavioral and cognitive disorders can result from a range of developmental, acquired and degenerative causes, including Alzheimer's disease. Other causes of dementia include traumatic brain injury, stroke and other vascular conditions.

The dementia specialists at Harper and Wayne State use advanced imaging and molecular approaches to ensure accurate diagnosis and the latest, evidence-based therapies to treat patients. Harper neurologists also work closely with family and caregivers to help them find support and valuable community resources.

  • When to Seek Help
  • Types of Dementia
  • Diagnosis
  • Treatment
  • Research

When to Seek Help

It's sometimes difficult to know when it's appropriate to seek help for a possible neurobehavioral or cognitive disorder. See a neurobehavioral specialist if you or a loved one are experiencing any of the following symptoms:

  • Memory problems
  • Language problems
  • Personality changes
  • Apraxia (movement problems not explained by loss of strength)
  • Visuospatial impairment

Types of Dementia

Dementia, or memory loss, can be caused by many things, including stroke (vascular dementia), Alzheimer's disease is a form of dementia with no known cause at this point. Other forms of dementia are frontal lobe dementia, which causes severe personality change, and Lewy body dementia, which causes severe visual hallucinations. Not all dementia is progressive. There are a number of general types of cognitive symptoms or disorders. These types include:

  • Memory disorders
  • Language disorders
  • Attention disorders
  • Visuospatial disorders
  • Disorders of complex movement
  • Behavioral disorders

Early Signs of Dementia

  • Forgetting words and learned information
  • Difficulty with mental and simple tasks
  • Poor judgment
  • Losing way in familiar places
  • Misplacing things
  • Suspicious, fearful, clinging
  • Passive, with rapid mood swings

Signs and symptoms

People suffering from dementia may show the following symptoms:

  • Physical and verbal outbursts
  • Emotional distress
  • Restlessness
  • Hallucinations: seeing or hearing things that are not there
  • Delusions: unreal beliefs
  • It is NOT a natural part of aging.
  • It is NOT fatal.
  • It does NOT affect only old people.
  • It is NOT caused by Aluminium, Aspartame, Flu shots, or dental fillings with silver.
  • There is no known herbal cure.

Myths about dementia

  • It is NOT a natural part of aging.
  • It is NOT fatal.
  • It does NOT affect only old people.
  • It is NOT caused by Aluminium, Aspartame, Flu shots, or dental fillings with silver.
  • There is no known herbal cure.

Preparing for dementia

Legal Issues will need to be addressed with patients in the early stages of dementia, including:

  • A do not resuscitate order,with or without a physician order
  • A living will that defines medical treatments to be honored
  • Durable power of attorney for health care to address issues such as:
    • Appointing a patient advocate
    • Administering of lifesaving treatment
    • Mental health treatment
  • Organ donation

Diagnosis

The physician researchers at Harper University Hospital and Wayne State University use advanced MRI, clinical, molecular and neuropsychological techniques to accurately diagnose patient conditions and develop the most effective treatment plans.

Since neurobehavioral and cognitive disorders (e.g., dementias) result from a range of developmental, acquired and degenerative causes, it's vitally important to identify the precise cause of the disorder in order to determine prognosis and maximize treatment.

Treatment

Neurologists at Harper University Hospital and Wayne State University use the latest medications and therapies to treat neurobehavioral and cognitive disorders. While therapies don't usually reverse the course of dementias, appropriate treatment can often slow the advancement of dementia.

Available therapies range from medication to speech and cognitive therapies to experimental treatments including electrical and magnetic stimulation of the brain.

And since cognitive disorders affect families as well as patients, Harper physicians work closely with caregivers and loved ones to help them find support and community resources.

Research

The physician researchers at Harper University Hospital and Wayne State University are actively working to advance the study of neurobehavioral and cognitive disorders, including Alzheimer's disease. Clinical trials for Alzheimer’s disease involve alternative administration of medication to improve effectiveness in more severe cases.

Currently, researchers at Harper University Hospital and Wayne State are investigating the latest MRI brain imaging techniques that provide improved diagnostic accuracy. Researchers are also studying electrical and magnetic stimulation of the brain for improved motor and language function.

Patients can participate in select clinical research studies — often benefiting from new therapies before they are available elsewhere.