Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia — a group of brain disorders that cause the loss of intellectual and social skills. In Alzheimer’s disease, the brain cells degenerate and die, causing a steady decline in memory and mental function. Approximately 200,000 Americans under the age of 65 have early-onset Alzheimer’s disease.
Signs and Symptoms
Alzheimer’s Disease is a progressive brain disorder that slowly destroys memory, thinking skills, and eventually, the ability to carry out the simplest of tasks. It is very likely that damage to the brain starts a decade or more before memory and other cognitive problems became evident. Alzheimer’s patients may have trouble focusing, a hard time doing ordinary activities, confusion or frustration, dramatic mood swings – outburst of anger, anxiety, and depression, disorientation, physical issues with gait and coordination, and trouble communicating.
What Is Alzheimer’s?
Alzheimer’s disease typically destroys neurons and their connections in parts of the brain involved in memory, including the entorhinal cortex and hippocampus. It later affects areas in the cerebral cortex responsible for language, reasoning, and social behavior. Eventually, many other regions of the brain are damaged. Over time, a person with Alzheimer’s gradually loses his or her ability to live and function independently.
In Alzheimer’s disease, as neurons are injured and die throughout the brain, connections between networks of neurons may break down, and many brain regions begin to shrink. By the final stages of Alzheimer’s, this process—called brain atrophy—is widespread, causing significant loss of brain volume.
If care is sought in the mild to moderate stages, it allows for better outcomes and slower decline. A thorough professional evaluation may detect an underlying treatable condition even if symptoms suggest Alzheimer’s. Early diagnosis allows a person to get the maximum benefit from available treatments and provides time to plan for the future.
Our Approach to Diagnostics and Testing
Revive utilizes research-based diagnostics to evaluate function in specific areas of the brain. Looking at eye movements, motor function, sensory function, cranial nerves, cognitive function, balance, and gait. This information allows us to better understand what areas are affected so we can develop a treatment plan that targets those regions and networks to make them stronger and more efficient. These tests include eye movements, motor function analysis, physical exam, cognitive ability and balance.
- The VGN or testing of eye movement gives us a representation of the function of eye muscles, cranial nerves, brainstem nuclei, cerebellum and cortical regions. By measuring things like gaze stabilization, smooth pursuits, saccades, and optogenetics it helps us to differentiate the areas of weakness.
- Motor function analysis enables us to see the strength, tone, and coordination of the movement of muscle groups so we can better understand the regions and networks of involvement. Networks that are utilized in a movement are the coordination of movement involve the frontal lobes, parietal lobes, and the cerebellum.
- In our office, the physical examination is focused on not only finding definitive signs of functional deficits but also catching the subtle changes which give us greater insight into the physiology and function (these findings are often considered irrelevant or ‘within normal limits’ in most conventional clinical settings).
- Cognitive testing is utilized as a baseline marker to measure and monitor patient outcomes. These quantifiable tests validate results in many different avenues. Our testing encompasses depression screening, anxiety screening, verbal memory, psychomotor speed, processing speed, simple attention, and motor speed.
- Balance test or vestibular testing gives us an insight into the function of networks that are needed for standing, walking, even riding in a car. We look at the three main factors of balance (Vestibular, proprioception, and vision) both together and individually to isolate the areas of involvement.
Our Approach to Care
At Revive we specialize in providing treatment to the neurological regions affected by Alzheimer’s. Your treatment can include balance, gait, and eye training; as well as hand-eye coordination, repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS), hyperbaric oxygen, diet, and supplements.
We offer a unique process that is built to maximize time and results. To reach your personal healthcare goals, it is imperative that your physicians and care providers precisely know your individual story and desires. Your individual goals are the focal point of the comprehensive treatment plan which is based off your exam, diagnostics, and lab results.
Beyond the neurological system, there are many factors that can impact the presentation of Alzheimer’s: the immune system, diet, sleep, and stress (to list a few). By integrating knowledge of the brain and influence of these factors, we are able to be very specific with targeted therapies which create lasting neurological changes. Your treatment plan is designed specifically for you and is not a protocol.
This plan is executed over 5-10 days. Patients see measurable improvement during their time in our office and continue to make gains once they leave. To help ensure success on your journey of healing, we create and define a plan for you when you go home. This plan may include sourcing local specialist for a safe and effective continuum of care. Our goal is to see each patient continue to build upon the initial results they achieved in our office.
Research on our treatments