Treatment for Memory Loss

While there is no cure for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, treatment and management options can minimize symptoms, improve quality of life and, increasingly, slow the disease’s progression.

Medications may relieve symptoms related to memory, thinking, language and other thought processes. In addition, they may also help with mood, agitation and other behavioral issues. Medications may not work for everyone. People respond very differently to medications.

An emerging class of medications that attack the buildup of plaque between neurons are showing some positive results delaying the progression of Alzheimer’s disease by about 30%.

The Norton Neuroscience Institute Memory Center provides comprehensive and compassionate diagnosis and treatment to people with a variety of memory disorders, from mild dementia to Alzheimer’s disease.

With the largest team of board-certified and fellowship-trained specialists in Louisville and Southern Indiana, our team helps patients and their loved ones find the causes of memory impairment issues, dementia and other brain disorders.

Our multidisciplinary care model often allows patients to book multiple appointments with various specialists for the same day. Also, our team of neurologists, psychiatrists and geriatric medicine specialists work together closely to develop individualized and effective treatment plans. 

Our specialists are also heavily involved in research into the most current treatments. In addition to providing access to clinical trials, our specialists are often deeply familiar with new therapies once they are first approved for clinical use.

Our mission is to improve the lives of patients living with memory disorders.

Treating Memory Loss

At our Memory Center you may see one of our physicians or specialized nurse practitioners at your appointment. In order to evaluate you for memory loss we will conduct a new patient evaluation as well as diagnostic exams. Our team will use this information to develop an ongoing care plan for you and your caregiver.

Our team works collaboratively across many areas to ensure each patient’s treatment plan is individualized to their diagnosis, symptoms, and lifestyle. Because we cannot cure the cause of the disease, treatments are designed to slow the progression of the disease and reduce symptoms. A robust approach of medication, therapeutic support, and social support can help patients and caregivers manage their condition.

Medications for Memory Loss

While there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias, there are medications that might be able to slow it down and make it easier to live with.

Disease Modifying Medications

A disease-modifying treatment, disease-modifying drug, or disease-modifying therapy is a treatment that delays or slows the progression of a disease by targeting its underlying cause.

Some common disease modifying drugs are:

  • Lecanemab (Leqembi) is a monoclonal antibody (a protein that helps your immune system target specific proteins for removal) that does not cure Alzheimer’s disease, but it does modestly slow the rate of progression in the earliest stages of Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Aduhelm (Aducanumab) addresses the underlying biology of the disease. According to the FDA, aducanumab reduces beta-amyloid plaques, which is reasonably likely to lead to a reduction in clinical decline due to Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Donanemab is an immunotherapy drug that teaches the immune cells to recognize and remove a protein called amyloid, which builds up in Alzheimer’s disease.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved lecanemab, marketed as Leqembi, for the treatment of the earliest symptomatic stages of Alzheimer’s disease.

Lecanemab is now available at Norton Healthcare and covered by most insurance plans.

Learn more about Lecanemab

Symptom Management 

In addition to disease-modifying drugs, there are treatments that address memory loss without tackling its underlying cause.

Some examples of symptoms that may be treated with medication:

  • Anxiety
  • Incontinence
  • Insomnia
  • Depression
  • Pain
  • Hallucinations, Delusions, Severe Agitation or Aggression

Therapeutic Support

Norton Healthcare provides rehabilitation, occupational therapy and speech-language pathology services for patients managing memory loss. Our facilities offer some of the most advanced technology and specialized services in one location to help with gait, balance, strength, flexibility, speech, fine motor skills, swallowing, driving, cognition, vision and more.

Social support

As part of our commitment to personalized care, a social worker can help guide patients through their care journey and help to connect them with resources and answer questions.

  • Exercise groups: Yoga, aqua aerobics, and tai chi are specifically tailored to improve balance, maintain flexibility and reduce stress.
  • Patient support classes: We offer a variety of classes for patients and caregivers.

Risks of Not Treating Memory Loss

There is a difference between forgetfulness and memory loss. For example, it is normal to forget where you put your keys, but it could be a red flag if you forget what keys belong to which locks.

Because progressive memory loss is a degenerative disease, the memory will worsen over time. The sooner the diagnosis, the sooner that appropriate care can uncover the reason for the memory loss and offer the chance to treat mild cognitive impairment in the early stages.

When to Call your Health Care provider

Coming to terms with memory loss and the possible onset of a more serious condition can be difficult. Getting a prompt diagnosis from a doctor is key in determining if further testing is required.

When ongoing memory loss requires medical attention, your doctor may ask a simple set of questions to assess the severity of the impairment. The questions might touch on the onset of the symptoms, the type of tasks that seem difficult, whether you’ve started any new drug or if a recent head injury or other trauma may have happened.

Further blood and brain-imaging testing also may be required in order to give an accurate diagnosis, develop a care plan and provide support.

Reviewed by Gregory Cooper, M.D., Ph.D.

Care That’s Focused on You

It’s part of Norton Neuroscience Institute’s goal to care for the whole person, not just the condition.

  • Norton Neuroscience Institute Resource Centers offer ways to improve your access to care, provide valuable information on managing your disease and address your quality of life issues. The Norton Healthcare Foundation funds this important service, so patients don’t need to pay.
  • Dedicated patient navigators can help schedule follow-up appointments, coordinate prescription assistance, create customized diet plans and provide guidance on disability benefits, housing, financial and employment concerns and more.
  • Patients can access support groups, exercise classes and other educational events to connect with others and learn how to make the most of life while managing a neurological condition. 
  • Access an on-demand video library of educational content across a variety of condition related topics is available.
  • We want to help prevent illness. Get help quitting smoking and learn the signs of stroke.
  • Communicate with your provider, manage appointments, refill prescriptions and more anytime from a computer or mobile device with a free Norton MyChart account.

A Louisville Leader in Neurological Care

More patients from Louisville and Southern Indiana seek their neurology and neurosurgery care from Norton Neuroscience Institute’s nationally recognized specialists than any other providers in the area.

Your Norton Neuroscience Institute medical provider has the expertise, experience, diagnostic tools and sophisticated treatments to provide care tailored to your needs.

  • More than 75 medical, surgical and research specialists are dedicated to providing innovative care to those with brain, spine and nervous system conditions.
  • Advanced, minimally invasive neurosurgery equipment can speed your recovery and minimize pain.
  • Multidisciplinary clinics provide easy access to care in one convenient appointment for your neurological condition, with specialists in oncology, cardiology, orthopedics and behavioral health.
  • Norton Healthcare’s four adult-service hospitals in Louisville are certified by DNV, recognizing excellence and expertise in stroke care.
    • Norton Brownsboro Hospital is recognized as a Comprehensive Stroke Center.
    • Norton Audubon Hospital and Norton Hospital are Primary Stroke Centers.
    • Norton Women’s & Children’s Hospital is an Acute Stroke Ready Hospital.
  • The American Heart Association Get With the Guidelines stroke care program has recognized all four of Norton Healthcare’s adult service-hospitals in Louisville for exceeding national averages in getting patients in the door and administering lifesaving treatment to restore blood flow to the brain.
  • Norton Neuroscience Institute’s multiple sclerosis (MS) program has been designated a Center for Comprehensive MS Care by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
  • The National Association of Epilepsy Centers has recognized Norton Neuroscience Institute as a Level 4 Epilepsy Center, providing the highest level of medical and surgical evaluation and treatment for patients with complex epilepsy.
  • Norton Neuroscience Institute Resource Center navigators help educate patients and their families about new diagnoses, available treatments and ways to manage their disease.
  • We are listed by Becker’s Hospital Review as one of 100 great neurosurgery and spine programs.

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