Alzheimer’s Disease

What Is Alzheimer’s Disease?

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive disease that causes increasing difficulty with memory and thinking. Alzheimer’s typically starts as memory loss and, with progression, can lead to impairments in orientation, ability to communicate effectively and ability to manage day to day activities.

Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia, accounting for up to 80% of cases.

More people in Louisville and Southern Indiana choose Norton Neuroscience Institute to treat their neurological condition than any other provider. The experienced and innovative physicians at the Norton Neuroscience Institute Memory Center, led by its medical director, Gregory Cooper, M.D., Ph.D., are at the leading edge of new treatments that may slow the progress of Alzheimer’s disease. Appropriate cases are reviewed by a multidisciplinary team to deliver a precise diagnosis and a customized treatment plan with the best viewpoints of multiple specialists.

Multiple medications, often used in combination and tailored to each patient’s condition, can ease symptoms.

Physical therapy in select cases, occupational therapy, and speech and language pathology can help manage the disease. Support such as social services professionals and the Norton Neuroscience Institute Resource Center can provide significant help for the entire family.

Increasingly, evidence suggests physical, mental and social activities may reduce your risk of developing Alzheimer’s.

Norton Neuroscience Institute Resource Center, the Alzheimer’s Association and others offer resources to help families and individuals coping with Alzheimer’s.

Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s disease typically begins with mild forgetfulness. For example, an individual with early Alzheimer’s may have more difficulty recalling recent events or conversations, misplace items frequently and repeat themselves more often.

As the condition progresses, language and sense of place or orientation can become impaired. It may become more difficult to recall the exact date, or to navigate from place to place, at times getting lost more easily.

Language effects often begin with increased difficulty recalling names or words. While this can be a normal part of aging, with time an Alzheimer’s patient may have a tendency to use words incorrectly and have difficulty comprehending what others are saying. Additional symptoms include difficulty planning, organizing and managing affairs, notably including medications and finances.

What Causes Alzheimer’s Disease?

No single cause of Alzheimer’s disease has been discovered. Several factors, however, have been identified as increasing your risk for the disease.

  • Advanced age is a factor.
  • Family history and genetics may play a role.
  • High blood pressure and high cholesterol also may increase risk.
  • Low education, diet and environment are suspected risk factors and the subject of research.

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 provide assistance securing transportation to and from Norton Healthcare facilities, 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 MyNortonChart 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 Healthcare, representing the highest level of 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.
  • 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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