Alzheimer's Disease

We understand how devastating learning you have Alzheimer’s disease can be. It brings worries about your future health and daily life. Experts at Henry Ford Health help you make the most of both. We deliver therapies that slow Alzheimer’s progression so you can live life on your terms for as long as possible. We also make sure your family and caregivers have the support they need.

What is Alzheimer’s disease?

Alzheimer’s disease is a steady mental decline that progresses to the point where symptoms routinely impact your daily life. The condition typically affects older adults. Although changes in memory and thinking are a part of aging, the problems caused by Alzheimer’s disease are worse than expected.

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia, a group of symptoms affecting brain functioning. But not everyone with dementia has Alzheimer’s disease. Coming to an experienced program, such as ours, helps you receive an accurate diagnosis. Get more information about dementias.

Alzheimer’s disease symptoms

Alzheimer’s disease symptoms include:

  • Memory problems
  • Poor judgment, which may include driving recklessly or new spending habits
  • Confusion
  • Disorientation, meaning you forget things like where you are, what day it is or who you are
  • Difficulty speaking or swallowing
  • Sleep problems that may affect your ability to stay awake during the day

Alzheimer’s disease can also cause new or challenging behaviors, such as:

  • Becoming upset after minor disappointments
  • Forgetting manners and becoming impulsive
  • Having depression or anxiety
  • Making verbal outbursts
  • Showing physical aggression

Alzheimer’s disease care at Henry Ford: Why choose us?

We offer comprehensive Alzheimer’s disease services, including thorough evaluations, the latest treatments and robust support services. Doctors specializing in Alzheimer’s disease and the unique needs of older adults guide your care. This level of expertise helps you receive the services that are best for you right from the start. Explore our memory clinic.

Our unique partnership with the Alzheimer’s Association gives you access to additional resources, including on-site social workers. These specialists help you and your family navigate the emotional and practical challenges you may be facing. Our thorough understanding of Alzheimer’s disease helps us anticipate your needs and provide you with timely access to helpful services.

Virtual Care

We have virtual care options available so you can see your doctor without leaving home. Find out if virtual care is right for you.
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Alzheimer’s disease evaluation

We perform a thorough evaluation considering all possible causes of Alzheimer’s disease symptoms. Our careful approach enables us to confirm or rule out Alzheimer’s disease with a high degree of accuracy.

Evaluations include:

  • Neurologic exam: We assess your coordination, balance and reflexes.
  • Neuropsychology evaluation: We evaluate your memory, thinking and mood to determine the impact of Alzheimer’s disease on your daily life. Learn more about neuropsychology evaluations.
  • Brain imaging: You may need an MRI or CT of the head. These tests help us evaluate brain structures and rule out other conditions that may cause cognitive changes, such as stroke or brain tumors.
  • Positron emission tomography (PET) scan: This sophisticated imaging study identifies proteins in brain tissue typically present with Alzheimer’s disease. PET scans make it possible to detect signs of Alzheimer’s disease in earlier stages. Learn more about getting a PET scan.
  • Genetic testing: We may recommend these tests if you have a family history of Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias. Testing may detect gene abnormalities (mutations) that cause inherited forms of these conditions.

Alzheimer’s disease treatment

The therapies that are right for you depend on the symptoms you are experiencing and how severe they are.

Your care may include:

  • Medications: We prescribe medications to relieve specific Alzheimer’s disease symptoms, such as memory loss or sleep changes.
  • Care for other medical conditions: Treating conditions like high blood pressure can prevent some symptoms from worsening. Explore our Heart and Vascular Institute.
  • Support for behavioral problems: Geriatric psychiatrists specializing in the needs of older adults help you push past problems using appropriate medications and other therapies. Read more about geriatric psychiatry.
  • Speech therapy: You receive specialized therapies to help you speak and communicate more clearly. Read more about speech therapy.
  • Occupational therapy: We show you new techniques for performing everyday activities that have become difficult. Find out more about occupational therapy.
  • Lifestyle recommendations: Our team helps you feel your best with a brain-healthy lifestyle. Recommendations may include changes to your diet or gentle exercise.

Support for Family Caregivers

An Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis can bring unexpected changes to your entire family. As the loved one of someone with Alzheimer’s disease, you may experience feelings of loss. And being a family caregiver can bring added stress to an already difficult situation.

We provide information and connect you with community services through our Caregiver Assistance Resources and Education (C.A.R.E.) Program®.

Take the next step

Let us help you schedule an appointment, call (800) 436-7936.


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