The Guttmann Brain Health Institute’s Memory Clinic has been specially designed to provide comprehensive and holistic programmes of prevention, early diagnosis and neurocognitive intervention to help maintain memory and other cognitive functions.
Memory problems are common in the general population. They can be related to normal ageing, be the start of a neurodegenerative disease like Alzheimer’s disease or be caused by other medical pathologies.
The existence of a memory complaint or complaint regarding another cognitive function requires specialist attention in order to find out the cause and take the right approach. Our aim is to make a multidisciplinary team available to these patients, made up of a neurologist, neuropsychologist, physiotherapist, occupational therapist, speech therapist and clinical psychologist. They come up with a diagnosis and draw up an individual cognitive and physical treatment profile depending on the needs of the patient according to their level of impairment.
Physical exercise helps maintain brain health and, alongside a neuropsychological intervention programme, it can help preserve cognitive functions. A personalised physiotherapy plan is therefore incorporated, with varying intensity depending on the patient’s tolerance level.
WHO IS THE GUTTMANN BRAIN HEALTH INSTITUTE’S MEMORY CLINIC AIMED AT?
- People with memory problems, or other cognitive functions like orientation, calculation, language, perception, reasoning and other types of apraxia.
- Individuals with a diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment, which is not due to a normal ageing process but neither has a significant repercussion on daily activities.
- Patients with a diagnosis of dementia: Alzheimer’s disease, corticobasal dementia, Lewy body dementia, multiple system atrophy and vascular dementia.
- People with other neurological diseases with cognitive problems or impairment confirmed as multiple sclerosis.
- Patients with secondary cognitive alterations caused by acquired brain damage: stroke, tumours, infections of the nervous system, cerebral anoxia, etc.
AIMS OF THE GUTTMANN BRAIN HEALTH INSTITUTE MEMORY CLINIC
- To detect and measure changes in cognitive functions through diagnostic assessment.
- To establish a personalised neuropsychological intervention depending on the problems presented by the patient, and aimed at a specific and relevant goal. The purpose of neuropsychological rehabilitation is to reduce the impact of cognitive, behavioural or emotional alterations on the patient’s daily life and their impact on family life.
- This neuropsychological intervention is accompanied by a physical intervention, with an exercise plan designed in a personalised way to improve physical health and help maintain mental and cognitive health.
- Likewise, an occupational therapist will take another approach in which the most instrumental and functional aspects are dealt with to improve the patient’s performance of simple and complex activities in daily life.
- To advise the family on the nature of the neuropsychological deficit, offer guidance to help manage the problem in everyday situations, and provide emotional support.
MEMORY CLINIC: a holistic approach
Bearing in mind the complexity of tackling memory problems, at Guttmann Brain Health Institute we use a holistic approach with our patients:
- Cognitive telerehabilitation with our platform , “Guttmann, NeuroPersonalTrainer®”: This tool is designed to work on cognitive functions through the use of computer technology. Tailormade exercises are designed for each patient’s profile depending on which function is most affected (attention, memory, etc.). This treatment is planned by a neuropsychologist who follows the progress of each patient.
- Individual neuropsychological rehabilitation sessions: Some patients whose main difficulties lie within emotional control, compensation, awareness of their deficit, or social skills, or those who require psychoeducation will be candidates for a type of tailormade treatment that will be carried out in full in the presence of the neuropsychologist in specific individual sessions for each patient.
- Sessions of cognitive stimulation for personal autonomy when carrying out daily activities: An occupational therapist is in charge of these sessions. Cognitive and behavioural aspects are worked on within the framework of occupational therapy (person, environment, activity), incorporating the person within a space and an activity in a motivating way in order to improve their functional performance, as well as reinforcing autonomy when carrying out basic activities in daily life or more advanced instrumental skills. These interventions can be complementary or in parallel to others.
- Memory workshops: These are group sessions led by a neuropsychologist with the aim of improving functional performance in patients presenting cognitive impairment. The sessions tackle cognitive (orientation, attention, memory, executive functioning, etc.) and functional aspects, such as the use of help from the outside and managing emotions. The communication aspect of the group activity also offers value to the therapy, making the sessions more motivating.
- Music therapy: This involves the use of music and/or musical elements (sound, rhythm, melody and harmony) with a qualified music therapist in a process designed to facilitate and promote communication, relating to others, learning, mobility, expression, organisation and other relevant therapeutic aims in order to register changes and satisfy physical, emotional, social and cognitive needs.
- Psychotherapy: This involves individual psychological treatment sessions designed with a therapeutic approach to alterations in mood. Participants in these sessions are patients who may present a subjective complaint of impaired cognitive abilities but in whom the predominant symptomology is the presence of altered mood.
- Multisensory stimulation: Multisensory stimulation rooms are designed to stimulate patients by working with the different senses. Different environments can be simulated within these rooms, offering objects with different textures, smells, shapes, sizes, colours, etc. Some of the aforementioned treatments demand cognitive skills that have altered very little; however, there are patients with severe impairment who cannot benefit from them but will do so with sensory stimulation to improve their cognitive performance of the functions they have preserved, as well as stimulating relaxation and emotional and even behavioural wellbeing.
- Physical activity: A tailormade physiotherapy plan is designed adapted to the age and comorbidity of the patient.
- Pharmacological treatment, if required.