Donate to Dementia Research, Patient Care and Education

Dementia is not a single disease, but a term referring to a decline in cognitive ability severe enough to interfere with a person’s daily life. Therefore, dementia describes a group of symptoms including memory loss, impaired judgment, and a loss of movement control and effective communication as nerve cells in the brain experience atrophy and degrade over a period of time. Because these cells control parts of the brain that enable people to interact with the world, dementia impairs the ability of a person to function normally. Dementia affects one in ten people over the age of 65 years old. By considering a donation to Northwestern Medicine, you can contribute to the quality of life and the lifespan of millions of people across the United States as scientists search for more ways to treat this pressing medical condition.

The symptoms that patients experience vary greatly according to the portions of the brain affected as well as according to the stage to which the disease has progressed. The most common disease associated with dementia is Alzheimer’s disease. While the severity with which the process of atrophy affects the brain can vary from patient to patient, the most common part of the brain in which symptoms are discovered are the areas that control memory, temperament, and higher cognitive abilities.

There have been as many as 50 causes of dementia identified by scientists, including vascular problems, organ function, and vitamin deficiencies. Because there are so many potential causes of these diseases, it is extremely important that generous donors continue to fund research at Northwestern Medicine in order to find more ways to cure and help patients manage dementia. Treatment for patients with dementia also varies based on the type of disease and severity of the symptoms that the patients experience. Northwestern Medicine offers patients comprehensive testing to determine the cause and staging of their dementia, with as much as 90 percent accuracy, as well as a comprehensive study of their bodies and the diseases.

The testing that Northwestern Medicine offers patients in order to diagnose and find the best plan for treatment includes:

  • Cognitive status tests
  • Neuropsychological examinations
  • Lab tests
  • Lumbar punctures
  • Electroencephalograms (EEGs)
  • Computed tomography scans
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRIs)
  • Positron emission tomography scans (PET scans).

Dementia Research, Patient Care and Education Donation

There is no known cure for dementia at this time, but scientists at Northwestern Medicine are working hard to find a cure and improve treatment. With your donation, The Neurobehavior and Memory Clinic can offer a comprehensive multidisciplinary staff of physicians and faculty working towards solutions for patients and their future. Your contribution to Northwestern Medicine will help support the team of scientists and physicians and improve the lives of patients through home healthcare, hospice, occupational therapy, and physical therapy.

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