Capital Health opens Alzheimer's treatment center

on Monday, 06 January 2014.

This article by Susan Livio originally appeared in The Star-Ledger.

TRENTON — Capital Health's Institute for Neuroscience announced today it is opening a specialized program focusing on the treatment of Alzheimer's disease, which is diagnosed in
about 150,000 people in New Jersey.

The Alzheimer's Disease and Cognitive Neurology Program promises to offer patients with the latest technology, testing and care, said Erol Veznedaroglu, the institute's director and chairman of the Department of Neurosurgery at Capital Health. The program will also provide support services for families.

"Many centers are not willing to make this investment and will have generalists see patients with Alzheimer's disease and other cognitive disorders," Dr. Veznedaroglu said. "At the Capital Institute for Neurosciences, we believe highly specialized, fellowship-trained physicians are the best qualified to treat this unique patient population."

Alzheimer's is a type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior, according to the Alzheimer's Association. The sixth leading cause of death, Alzheimer's is caused by the build up of proteins inside and in between the nerve cells in the brain. About 150,000 people in New Jersey have the disease, but that figure is expected to rise to 170,000 by 2030.

"You need specialized training to really understand what you are seeing when you treat someone with Alzheimer's or other cognitive impairments," said the program's director G. Peter Gliebus, a neurologist trained in cognitive-behavioral neurology and neuropsychiatry. "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."

Capital Health operates hospitals in Trenton and Hopewell.

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