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VIDEO: What Kind of Doctor Treats Dementia?

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Learn about neurology specialists

Though many primary care physicians are able to make an initial diagnosis of dementia and provide basic care for memory-impairing diseases, working with a specialist in brain disorders and taking advantage of the physician’s more extensive experience is a necessity for more thorough treatment. According to Dr. Piero G. Antuono, Silverado Brookfield Medical Director, those seeking the most thorough treatment and care of dementia are best served by consulting doctors with formal training and experience in geriatrics, neurology or psychiatry.

A geriatric physician is a doctor that specializes in working with older adults, from diagnosis and treatment to disease and disability prevention.  Geriatricians are specially trained in the aging process.  Some common health care concerns that affect older adults include pain, falls, memory loss and side effects from medication.  Any cognitive illness or disability that may lead to dependence on others for assistance is a good indicator of when to see a geriatric physician. 

A neurology specialist is trained in the diagnosis and treatment of nervous system disorders, which include diseases affecting the brain, spinal cord, nerves and muscles.  Neurologists are also able to take brain scans for diagnostic testing. Examinations include tests in muscle strength, movement, balance, sensation, memory, speech and cognitive abilities. 

A psychiatrist specializes in treating mental and emotional disorders, including anxiety, depression, psychosis and developmental disabilities. They’re trained in the social medical, and psychological components of behavioral disorders, and therefore can practice psychotherapy, prescribe medications and help families cope with the stress of having a loved with behavioral diseases. 

For more videos of physicians answering common dementia-related questions, please click here

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