Capital Institute for Neurosciences Launches Alzheimer’s Program
Specialized Center to Provide Latest Medical Interventions and Support for Families
TRENTON, NJ — October 22, 2013 — The Capital Institute for Neurosciences (CIN) today announced it has launched a new program to treat Alzheimer’s disease and other cognitive disorders, providing specialized care as well as medical and social support for patients and their families.
As part of the Institute for Neurosciences, the Alzheimer’s Disease and Cognitive Neurology Program provides patients with the latest technology, testing and interventions.
Dr. Erol Veznedaroglu, director of CIN and chairman of the Department of Neurosurgery at Capital Health, said investing in a dedicated Alzheimer’s program is essential to any truly comprehensive neurosciences institute. It provides many advantages to patients, such as the ability to offer a range of neurologic services in one integrated center, including state-of-the art brain imaging and vascular interventions. For example, a patient might initially have been suspected to have Alzheimer’s disease but may, in fact, be having small seizures or strokes, or possibly a metabolic impairment.
“Many centers are not willing to make this investment and will have generalists see patients with Alzheimer’s disease and other cognitive disorders,” Dr. Veznedarolu said. “At CIN, we believe highly specialized, fellowship trained physicians are the best qualified to treat this unique patient population.”
Dr. G. Peter Gliebus, a widely published physician trained in neurology, and more importantly, fellowship trained in cognitive-behavioral neurology and neuropsychiatry, has been named director of the program. Dr. Gliebus said the program is crucial because the number of people with cognitive disorders is increasing rapidly as the population ages.
One in eight older Americans currently has Alzheimer’s disease, according to federal data provided by the Alzheimer’s Association. In New Jersey more than 150,000 people have the disease; the figure is expected to rise to 170,000 by 2030.
Dr. Gliebus said high quality treatment requires a specialized physician willing to spend time learning about the patient and his or her family.
“You need specialized training to really understand what you are seeing when you treat someone with Alzheimer’s or other cognitive impairments,” Dr. Gliebus said. “To be truly effective, you also need compassion and must be willing to dig deep and get to know the patient and family to detect changes. Memory impairment is not black and white.”
Dr. Gliebus was the J. Rosenstone Behavioral Neurology and Neuropsychiatry fellow at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago. He completed his neurology residency at Drexel University College of Medicine and Hahnemann University Hospital in Philadelphia.
Dr. Gliebus explained that the Alzheimer’s Disease and Cognitive Neurology Program evaluates and treats all patients with memory complaints, including younger people.
Alzheimer’s disease, the most common cause of dementia, causes a loss of cognitive functions, such as memory, attention and thinking. Hallmarks of the disease include brain abnormalities, such as the build-up of a protein called beta-amyloid, which forms sticky clumps of plaque between nerve cells. Another hallmark of the disease is neurofibrillary tangles that damage the flow of nutrients through the neurons.
Dr. Gliebus’ published work includes studies on neurofibrillary tangles in Alzheimer’s disease, beta-Amyloid distribution in Alzheimer’s Disease and the effect of certain medications on memory.
Dr. Gliebus said while no cure currently exists for Alzheimer’s disease, physicians can help patients in many ways, such as providing medications shown to prolong functional independence, address anxiety, depression, or sleep-related issues that may accompany the disease.
“Our interventions can help people prolong their years of independence, thereby improving the quality of life for both themselves and the loved ones who support them.” he said.