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Alzheimer’s Disease


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Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common type of dementia. It causes a decline in cognitive abilities, and will eventually affect memory, thinking, awareness, and behavior. This is a progressive disease that starts slowly and eventually causes a significant decline of higher mental processes and an individual’s ability to function independently. Most cases of AD begin in people over age 65. The incidence of AD increases as one gets older. 1 in 9 people over 65 have AD and 1 in 3 over 85 have AD.


We offer comprehensive evaluation and diagnostic services for Alzheimer’s. The evaluation process involves both patients and family members because dealing with the problem of memory loss is a difficult challenge for all concerned. It is a comprehensive exam lasting approximately 2 to 3 hours and consists of:

Psychosocial Interview
Our team will meet with the family members and/or informant to get more information about daily routines and how the patient is interacting with friends and family

Psychiatric and Cognitive Assessments
The patient may be asked to perform cognitive tests or answer questions that will give insight into any psychiatric issues that may be present.

Blood Work
The doctor will likely order lab work to test thyroid function, B12 and Folate levels.  They may also screen for syphilis and HIV.

MRI or Non-Contrast CT Scan
Theses imaging tests can help the doctor see structural changes in the brain which may indicate Alzheimer’s Disease.

To make an appointment please call 305-355-9065.


There is no cure for cognitive disorders like Alzheimer’s, so our treatment plans center around slowing down the loss of abilities and increasing quality of life through a combination of drug and psychosocial therapy.  In addition, patients may be eligible for clinical trials. We also offer caregiver education and support so that you or your loved ones can make adjustments at home that will help create a safe and supportive environment.

Pharmacological Treatments
Cholinesterase Inhibitors:

  • GIves modest benefits
  • Reduces deterioration of the illness
  • Benefits are symptomatic, not disease modifying
  • Primary benefits focus on cognition and instrumental activities of daily living (IADL's)
  • Improvement in symptoms of depression, agitation, anxiety and apathy

Memantine (Namenda) N-Methyl-D Aspartate (NMDA) Antagonist:

  • Improves cognition modestly
  • Regulates excessive glutamate activity
  • Indication: moderate to severe dementia
  • Benefits are symptomatic, not disease modifying
  • Reduces deterioration of the illness

Caprylidene (Axona):

  • “Medical food”
  • In AD, neurons are less able to use glucose as energy source
  • Axona increases ketones in brain
  • Ketones provide alternative energy to neurons with compromised glucose metabolism
  • FDA approved for Mild AD
  • Prescription only: comes in a powder
  • It has GI side effects, may increase BUN, uric acid, creatinine

Non-Pharmacological Psychosocial Treatments

  • Recreational therapy
  • Art therapy
  • Pet therapy
  • Exercise therapy

The University of Miami Memory Disorders Center provides psychosocial support and referral services to assist patients and their caregivers in dealing with the problem of memory loss and the difficult challenges it brings. These include counseling to patients, family members via telephone and/or office visits, as well as referrals to community resources such as adult day care, respite care, support groups, social services agencies, and to other health care professionals, including a UM specialist in geriatric medicine.

Why Choose UHealth?

Access to the latest research programs in the country. Through our Department of Neurology, we are the first in the U.S. to use mesenchymal stem cells in the treatment of Alzheimer’s.  Our researchers are also studying the effects of diet and nutrition on brain health and memory.

Appropriate tailored medication therapy.  Our physicians are experts in the diagnosis, treatment, and research of Alzheimer’s and related memory problems, and are devoted to high-quality patient care, education of caregivers and health professionals, and pursuit of clinical research.

Bi-Lingual Educational and Outreach Services. UHealth offers a variety of educational and training sessions for caregivers, social service professionals, and the general public throughout the year.  These are available both in English and Spanish, as part of the Alzheimer’s Disease Initiative Caregiver Educational Series and our Caregiver Education Center located in the Center on Aging.

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