Dementia Specialist

Shankle Clinic

Neurology Specialists located in Newport Beach, CA

If you or someone you love is having trouble with their memory, they may be in the early stages of dementia. Under the direction of William Shankle, MS, MD, FACP, the neurologists at Shankle Clinic evaluate, diagnose, and treat a variety of dementia disorders. They also differentiate true dementia from dementia-like conditions that can be reversed with lifestyle changes and therapy. To get a cognitive evaluation and receive the treatment you need, book an appointment at Shankle Clinic, located within the Hoag Neurosciences Institute in Newport Beach, California. You can schedule your appointment online or over the phone.

Dementia Q & A

What is dementia?

Dementia refers to a decline in cognitive abilities that can be caused by a variety of diseases and conditions. Dementia isn’t a disease itself, however, it is a general term that covers abnormal changes in the brain. 

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is marked by plaques and tangles in the brain, and it accounts for 60-80% of dementia cases.

Other conditions that cause dementia are:

  • Vascular dementia — damage to blood vessels that supply the brain
  • Lewy body dementia — abnormal clumps of protein in the brain
  • Frontotemporal dementia — the breakdown of nerve cells in frontal and temporal brain lobes
  • Mixed dementia — a combination of one or more types of dementia

You may also develop dementia if you have a medical condition that affects your brain, including Parkinson’s disease and traumatic brain injury (TBI). Some infections and other medical problems cause reversible types of dementia that resolve with therapy.

What are the symptoms of dementia?

Age-related memory changes aren’t the same thing as dementia. However, you or a loved one may have dementia if you:

  • Can’t remember recent events
  • Have trouble handling money
  • Keeping losing your purse or wallet
  • Forget to pay bills
  • Get lost easily
  • Have trouble preparing meals

If you notice that someone is having trouble with memory or behavior that seems to get worse, don’t delay an evaluation. Diagnosing and treating dementia in its early stages can help slow progression. If the type of dementia is reversible, quick treatment may restore normal cognitive function.

How can I prevent dementia?

Even progressive dementia conditions that aren’t reversible, such as AD, may be slowed or prevented by adopting a healthier lifestyle. In fact, research shows that the risk of all-cause dementia is 32% lower, even in people with a high genetic risk, when they adopt healthy habits. 

Some recommendations include:

  • Quitting smoking
  • Limiting exposure to pollution
  • Abstaining from alcohol abuse
  • Adding more vigorous exercise
  • Eating more fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Engaging in cognitively stimulating activities

Treating sleep apnea, controlling diabetes, and improving cardiovascular health also reduces your risk.

How do doctors treat dementia?

The neurologists at Shankle Clinic tailor treatment based on the type and stage of dementia. Some reversible types of dementia may respond to lifestyle changes, such as nutritional supplements.

Nonreversible dementias, including AD, respond to medications as well as behavioral therapies. To set up a dementia evaluation, contact Shankle Clinic today by phone or online form.