Memory Disorders Unit
The Memory Disorders Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital provides comprehensive diagnostic and treatment services for Alzheimer's disease and other forms of cognitive impairment, such as Lewy Body dementia, frontotemporal dementia and vascular dementia.
Memory Disorders Doctors
What to Expect
Before your first appointment, your physician should fax a medical referral form and your medical history to 617-726-4101. Regrettably, we cannot book appointments without a referral.
As a next step, patients must choose a family member, friend or caregiver to act as their primary contact person. This person should be available for a short phone call to answer questions about the patient’s symptoms before the first appointment. Calls are typically scheduled Thursdays or Fridays between 9:00 am and 4:00 pm.
At the first appointment, a neurologist meets with the patient and primary contact person for about 75 minutes to conduct a thorough neurological examination and discuss symptoms and history.
After the evaluation and follow-up diagnostic testing we design an individually tailored treatment plan for the patient. During follow-up visits (about every six months) we:
- Re-evaluate the patient's activities of daily living
- Perform a comprehensive memory reassessment
- Complete a neurologic exam
- Review medication needs
We support and monitor each patient's ongoing treatment in close consultation with our staff psychiatrist and social worker. Although the conditions we treat do not yet have cures, our continued involvement allows us to anticipate and address new symptoms as they arise.
Please note: A family member should attend appointments with the patient to help provide an accurate medical history.
Integrating Research With Clinical Care
The Memory Disorders Unit staff includes board-certified medical professionals who are leaders in basic, translational and clinical research. It's a rare and potent combination.
Pioneering laboratory research in memory disorders takes place through the laboratories of the (MADRC) and the (MIND). Among the MADRC's important accomplishments is its groundbreaking research in genes linked with Alzheimer's.
Both the MADRC and Memory Disorders Clinic conduct clinical trials in Alzheimer's and related neurodegenerative disorders. Patients have the opportunity to take part in a diverse range of studies, from longitudinal observational studies tracking the natural course of a disease to clinical trials testing the latest and most promising therapies.
Deeply committed to finding causes and improving treatments for our patients, all of our staff neurologists are engaged in state-of-the-art research that could one day result in cures. Their pioneering research efforts inform and often enhance their clinical success in diagnosing and treating patients.
Expertise Across Specific Disorders
The neurologists in the Memory Disorders Unit bring collective expertise in a robust range of specific disorders. Working together as a team, we have the keen ability to recognize and diagnose even the rarest of conditions, such as primary progressive aphasia and frontotemporal dementia.
What does this mean for patient care? We can diagnose conditions with exceptional accuracy and efficiency. This, in turn, allows us to take the most appropriate therapeutic approach and ultimately optimize the patient's quality of life.
As part of the Mass General Department of Neurology, we regularly interact with some of the field's foremost authorities in other conditions that commonly affect our patients, such as sleep apnea and stroke. At times, we also call on the expertise of colleagues from outside of our department, such as those in geriatrics, radiology or psychiatry. Our multidisciplinary approach ensures we address all aspects of the patient's condition at a world-class level.
Memory Disorders Doctors
Through the Memory Disorders Clinic, patients receive compassionate, professional care throughout the diagnostic, treatment and follow-up processes. Associated services include:
- Comprehensive neurologic assessment and follow-up
- Psychiatric assessment and monitoring as needed
- Neuropsychological assessment and follow-up
- Specialized pharmacological interventions for symptom management
- Genetic counseling for rare cases of inherited memory disorders
- Support groups and social service consultations for family members
In addition, a unique, collaborative relationship with the MADRC—through which we conduct clinical trials—connects us with cutting-edge Alzheimer's disease research. Supported by the National Institutes of Health, the MADRC performs innovative neuroscience research aimed at uncovering the causes, treatment and prevention of Alzheimer's and related neurodegenerative diseases.
A Specialized Hub of Research & Treatment
John H. Growdon, MD, has served as director of the Memory Disorders Clinic since its inception in 1982. He also headed up the efforts of the MADRC until Bradley T. Hyman, MD, PhD, assumed leadership in April 2006.
Both Dr. Hyman and our renowned geneticist Rudolph Tanzi, PhD, have earned the American Academy of Neurology's prestigious Potamkin Prize for Research in Pick's, Alzheimer's and Related Diseases. The rest of our unit's staff consists of:
Research Opportunities The MADRC conducts clinical trials involving a variety of neurologic disorders. For information about ongoing studies and the ability to participate, please contact unit coordinator 617-726-1728.
Alzheimer's disease is a progressive, neurodegenerative disease that occurs when nerve cells in the brain die, often resulting in symptoms such as impaired memory, thinking and behavior.
The following related clinical trials and research studies are currently seeking participants at Massachusetts General Hospital. Search for clinical trials and studies in another area of interest.
Leveraging Alzheimer’s Genome Project™ data, geneticist Rudy Tanzi, PhD, completes research to discover all gene variants that increase a person’s risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
What do Gaucher’s disease, gout, and amyloid plaques have in common? For researchers at the MGH, each of them may shed light on the causes and treatment of Parkinson’s disease.
Understanding the molecular pathogenesis of Huntington’s disease.
Can anti-amyloid antibody treatment reverse Alzheimer’s disease pathology before memory loss sets in?
Mark Albers, MD, PhD, is developing a set of simple but powerful tools to screen for the very earliest stages of preclinical Alzheimer’s Disease.
Memory Disorders UnitWang Ambulatory Care Center
8th Floor, Suite 835
15 Parkman Street
Boston, MA 02114
Public Transportation Access: yes
Disabled Access: yes
Memory Disorders CoordinatorsPhone: 617-726-1728
Department of Neurology
Memory Disorders Unit
Mailcode: WACC 715
Massachusetts General Hospital
55 Fruit Street
Boston, MA 02114