Montefiore first year data on the effectiveness of the new Montefiore-Einstein Center for the Aging Brain (CAB) has been published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. The Center's model, which follows a three-step evaluation and management plan from clinicians in Geriatrics, Neuropsychology and Neurology examines patients referred for evaluation of cognitive complaints based on activities of daily living, demographic information, co-morbid conditions, and medication review. During the first year, healthcare providers saw significant improvements in their ability to not only identify patients with dementia symptoms, but also more quickly identify signs of depression and anxiety.
"Our preliminary data demonstrates that collaboration between specialties under one roof is vital to managing patients who suffer from diseases associated with memory loss," said Joe Verghese M.B.B.S., chief, Department of Geriatrics and director, Montefiore Einstein Center for the Aging Brain. "We also discovered that the presence of all three specialties has helped improve identification of under diagnosed conditions like depression, and enabled more proactive interventions for patients and their families. Based on our initial success, we plan to add additional services like nutritional assessments, cognitive rehabilitation and quantitative mobility assessments to improve the overall health and well-being of all of our patients."
At the Center for the Aging Brain, patients receive neuropsychological testing as well as comprehensive geriatric and neurological assessments and diagnosis, services that might not be available in other geriatric clinics or primary care services due to limited resources. Difficulty accessing specialists, lack of social service support, and relevant training are also prevalent issues in geriatric care. By having all key services for patients and caregivers in one place, providers are also becoming more attuned to challenges for coordinating care, such as the lack of a designated caregiver or primary care physicians.
In addition to specialized patient services, caregivers are also screened for stress and have appointments arranged for them with social workers. This helps to address challenges specific to caring for loved ones with Alzheimer's, such as coordinating the availability of home care services.
The analysis in this manuscript, lead by Dr. Verghese and co-authored by Jessica Zwerling, M.D, associate director, Center for the Aging Brain and Rubina Malik, M.D, geriatrician, Albert Einstein College of Medicine included 366 patients seen from June 2014 -- June 2015. The most common diagnoses were different subtypes of dementias and mild cognitive impairment syndromes. Patients, caregivers and referring physicians reported satisfaction with the assessment outcomes.
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