Memory Disorders Center

A team of neurologists, psychiatrists, neuropsychologists, and other health-care professionals specially trained in diagnosing and treating memory disorders will perform evaluations for patients experiencing memory loss.

Diagnosing dementia is not done with a single test. During our free memory evaluations, the work up may consist of an MRI of the brain, laboratory tests and neuropsychological testing. However, each patient is treated individually and medical work ups will vary depending on the patient's past medical history and clinical presentation.

Once the evaluation for the patient has been completed, this multidisciplinary team will discuss the findings with the patient and/or family and formulate a treatment and management plan with one of our experienced psychiatrists. Patients will continue to be followed on a regular basis in the clinic based on their condition, clinical need, and their participation in research studies.

The team offers participation in a variety of research studies. These include investigational treatment studies for mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease, brain imaging studies utilizing MRI and PET scanning with state-of-the-art techniques and new radioactive tracers, genetic and family studies involving specific risk factors, and new approaches to make an early diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease. Studies of older healthy controls are also ongoing and recruiting participants. The Memory Disorders Center is the main clinical component of the Columbia University Alzheimer's Disease Research Center (ADRC), and is one of 32 specialized ADRCs funded by the National Institute on Aging, which is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Contact

Jessica D'Antonio: (646) 774-8674

Eligibility

A telephone screening will determine if a patient is eligible for an evaluation.

Referrals

Family members, friends, and physicians may refer patients to the Center.

Financial Information

The research evaluation by the physician/neuropsychologist and subsequent research follow-up visits are free of charge.

Current Clinical Trials

Anti-viral therapy in Alzheimer’s disease
PI: Dr. Davangere Devanand, MD

Anti-viral therapy in Alzheimer’s disease is investigating the efficacy of treating patients with mild Alzheimer’s disease (AD) with the U.S.A marketed generic antiviral drug valacyclovir. Valacyclovir at 2g to 4g daily, repurposed as an anti-AD drug, is being compared to matching placebo in the treatment of 130 mild AD patients (65 valacyclovir, 65 placebo) who test positive for herpes simplex virus-1 (HSV1) or herpes simplex virus-2 (HSV2). The study is a randomized, double-blind, 18-month Phase II proof of concept trial. This study is funded by the NIH.

For more information, please contact Julianna Pollina at 646-774-8638.

 

Cognitive Training in Mild Cognitive Impairment
PI: Dr. Davangere Devanand, MD

The purpose of this study is to evaluate if systematic cognitive training can improve cognitive performance in participants (ages 55-95 years) with memory loss. This study is evaluating the effects of Computerized Cognitive Training (CCT) for improvement in everyday cognitive and function status, in addition to long-term changes in brain networks over an 18- month period. Although there is no distribution of medication for this study, participants are required to have an at-home computer. This study is funded by the NIH.

For more information, please contact Jessica D’Antonio at 646-774-8674.

 

Treatment of Psychosis and Agitation in Alzheimer’s disease
PI: Dr. Davangere Devanand, MD

This study involves a 12-week double-blind treatment trial in which adult outpatients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) who have agitation/aggression with or without psychosis (hallucinations or delusions) will receive either low-dose lithium or placebo. Participants are allowed to receive other specific psychiatric medications if needed during the study, and will be closely monitored by physicians who specialize in memory disorders. Participants will receive open treatment with lithium, if clinically indicated, after completing the 12-week double blind trial. This study is funded by the NIH.

For more information, please contact Laura Simon-Pearson at 646-774-8671.

 

Escitalopram for Agitation in Alzheimer’s disease
PI: Dr. Davangere Devanand, MD

This study involves a 12-week double-blind treatment trial in which adult outpatients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) who have agitation/aggression may receive escitalopram or placebo in combination with a psychosocial intervention. Participants will be closely monitored by physicians who specialize in memory disorders. After completing the 12-week double blind trial, participants will receive open treatment with Escitalopram for 12 weeks, if clinically indicated. This study is funded by the NIH.

For more information, please contact Laura Simon-Pearson at 646-774-8671.

 

Development of Novel Measures of Cognition & Function for Alzheimer’s Disease Prevention Trials
PI: Dr. Terry Goldberg, PhD

This study aims to determine how effective different cognitive and functional tests commonly used in clinical trials really are in testing memory, executive function, and attention. Eligible participants are non-cognitively impaired, healthy adults (ages 60-85 years) who will be followed over the course of 12 months. Participants will receive either novel more experimental measures that are computerized or the older more established measures that involve paper and pencil tests. This study is funded by the NIA, a division of the NIH.

For more information, please contact Antoinette Swanson at 646-774-8635.

 

Principal Investigators

Core Faculty