Personalized Treatment for Dementia at the Wolk Center for Memory Health
At the Deanna and Sidney Wolk Center for Memory Health in Boston, we focus on you - not your disease. We will consider and address all aspects of your health and life, and based on your own goals, we’ll partner with you to decrease your risk of developing more advanced dementia, slow the progression of cognitive decline, and maximize your daily functioning.
At the Wolk Center, you won’t need to navigate a complicated system of health care providers on your own. You’ll have a small team dedicated to you and coordinating your care with other providers.
The Wolk Center is led by Medical Director Dr. Alvaro Pascual-Leone, a Harvard Medical School professor and international leader in maintaining brain health across the lifespan, and includes specialists in:
- Cognitive neurology
- Palliative care
- Social work
We’ll be here throughout your entire journey, working with you to adjust your care plan as your needs change.
Treatment for All Types of Dementia
We provide evidence-based treatment for many different forms of cognitive decline and dementia, including:
- Mild cognitive impairment
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Vascular dementia
- Lewy body dementia
- Frontotemporal dementia
- Mixed dementia
It’s never too early or too late to seek treatment at the Wolk Center for Memory Health. We treat patients at all stages of the disease.
We also encourage involvement from family members and caregivers. They play an important role in each patient’s journey and we want everyone involved to have the knowledge and support they need.
A Coordinated Care Team
If you or a loved one has dementia, you’ve likely experienced a confusing and fragmented network of care providers, with a number of specialists who don’t always communicate with each other and leave you to bridge the gap. The Wolk Center for Memory Health is committed to providing a different experience.
At the Wolk Center, you’ll get all the advantages of an academic medical center in a small team of specialists under one roof who consult with each other frequently to give you the best care possible. We’ll also coordinate with your primary care physician to ensure smooth transitions and alignment in your treatment.
The Wolk Center is part of the Hebrew SeniorLife network of health care and senior living services, including in-home care, memory care assisted living, long-term chronic care, and more. Wolk Center patients enjoy seamless access to these resources throughout our organization, along with the knowledge that they will continue to be cared for by people who know their goals and personalized plan.
The first step is to get an accurate diagnosis to understand exactly what is causing your symptoms and difficulties. We’ll make sure you understand your diagnosis and what science tells us about your prognosis and the trajectory of the disease.
With a specific diagnosis, we can tailor your treatments to slow the progression of the disease and minimize its impact on your life.
Treatments available at the Wolk Center include:
Cognitive health is impacted by a number of modifiable lifestyle factors, meaning that there are specific scientifically-proven steps you can take to minimize or manage memory loss.
During a consultation, we’ll review your current situation and make recommendations tailored to your other medical conditions, living environment, and goals of care. This may include:
- Social connections
- Diabetes management
- Blood pressure management
- Weight management
For example, 50% of people who receive a diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) never go on to develop dementia. With the right combination of lifestyle and health interventions, you can slow the progression of cognitive decline and reduce the risk of developing dementia.
Once we’ve developed a personalized plan for you, our team can help you put in place the resources and support you need to succeed.
Our physicians, nurse practitioners, and health care providers are up to date on the latest approaches for using medication to manage the effects of dementia, and can prescribe them if they could be of benefit for you.
We can also assess whether other medications you take may actually be worsening symptoms of dementia, and work with your primary care physician and other specialists to make changes as necessary.
Depression can commonly occur with or exacerbate cognitive decline. It’s estimated that up to 40% of people with Alzheimer’s disease experience significant depression. The Wolk Center’s geriatric psychiatrist and psychologist can provide treatment for depression, including medication and counseling. Because we know that dementia is a disease that affects the entire family, we also provide counseling services for the family members and caregivers of people with dementia.
We offer the only transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) program in New England that specializes in treating geriatric depression. This new, non-invasive outpatient treatment is particularly effective in improving treatment-resistant depression.
Palliative care focuses on treating the symptoms associated with illness that may be standing in the way of you living your best life. Palliative care can be helpful at any stage of a chronic illness, but especially as dementia progresses.
The Wolk Center for Memory Health offers palliative care consultations with our geriatrician who will take a holistic view of your illness, working with you and your family to understand how the disease impacts all areas of your life. We will suggest medical and non-medical ways to alleviate the effects of dementia. We can also help you consider your goals of care and align your treatment plan accordingly, document your end-of-life wishes, and facilitate family discussions.
Wolk Center for Memory Health patients have access to translational and clinical cutting-edge research conducted at Hebrew SeniorLife’s Harvard Medical School-affiliated Hinda and Arthur Marcus Institute for Aging Research. The Marcus Institute is one of the top gerontological research institutes in the country, and its research portfolio ranks in the top 11 percent of institutions funded by the National Institutes of Health.
In fact, many Wolk Center clinicians also hold research positions at the Marcus Institute and can suggest clinical trial opportunities that coordinate with the rest of your treatment plan. Marcus Institute research focuses on discovering ways to improve treatment for people with dementia and developing new approaches to slow cognitive decline.