The Memory and Attention Center at NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital offers a full continuum of care for memory and attention disorders, from assessment and diagnosis to a personalized plan of treatment. Memory and attention disorders can affect people of all ages. Early diagnosis and treatment has been shown to greatly improve quality of life and may significantly slow down the advancement of these disorders.
Treatment for Memory Disorders
The treatment for a memory disorder depends on its origin or cause. Often, causes are due to reversible medical conditions such as anemia or thyroid problems. If the cause is depression or anxiety, then medication and/or therapy can help tremendously. Strokes and other acquired brain injury can benefit from cognitive rehabilitation.
More than 10 percent of American adults over the age of 65 display signs of memory loss or dementia. Among those over the age of 85, the prevalence is approximately 50 percent. However, dementia is not considered a normal part of aging.
Many conditions can cause dementia. The leading cause (responsible for about half of all cases) is Alzheimer's disease. Other causes include brain injury, vascular abnormalities, Parkinson's disease, and numerous other disorders such as depression, thyroid disease, normal pressure hydrocephalus, Pick's disease, Huntington's disease, and drug interactions. Some types of dementia are reversible if detected and treated at an early stage.
The Memory Center offers multidisciplinary and comprehensive care for Alzheimer's disease patients and patients with other forms of dementia. All patients are initially assessed and evaluated to diagnose dementia and to determine its cause.
Treatment for Attention Disorders
The ability to focus, sustain and alternate attention to information can influence memory. An individual who is unable to attend to information that is provided will be unable to remember. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can also affect memory.
ADHD is one of the most well-recognized childhood developmental problems but it is not generally known is that these symptoms continue into adulthood for about 60 percent of children with ADHD.
Adults with ADHD may have difficulty following directions, remembering information, concentrating, organizing tasks or completing work within time limits. If these difficulties are not managed appropriately, they can cause associated behavioral, emotional, social, vocational and academic problems.
The same drug treatments proven to be effective in children with ADHD appear to benefit adults with the condition. Studies show that approximately two thirds of adults with ADHD who are given these medications show significant improvement in ADHD symptoms. Adult ADHD may also be treated with cognitive behavioral therapy, relaxation training and stress management to reduce anxiety and stress, and family education and therapy.