Collaborative Approach to Care, Benefits Aging Patients and Informs the Skills of the Next Generation of Healthcare Providers

Newswise — October 28, 2016 — (NEW YORK, NY) — During their first year, clinicians at the new Montefiore Einstein Center for the Aging Brain (CAB) saw significant improvements in their ability to identify patients with dementia symptoms and more quickly identify signs of depression and anxiety. This first year data has been published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. The Center’s model, which follows a three-step evaluation and management plan from clinicians in Geriatrics, Neuropsychology and Neurology, examines referred patients for evaluation of cognitive complaints based on daily activities, demographic information, additional medical conditions, and medication review.

“Our preliminary data demonstrates that collaboration between specialties under one roof is vital to managing patients who suffer from diseases associated with memory loss,” said Joe Verghese M.B.B.S., chief, Department of Geriatrics and director, Montefiore Einstein Center for the Aging Brain. “We also discovered that the presence of all three specialties has helped improve identification of underdiagnosed conditions like depression, and enabled more proactive interventions for patients and their families. Based on our initial success, we plan to add additional services like nutritional assessments, cognitive rehabilitation and quantitative mobility assessments to improve the overall health and well-being of all of our patients.”

At CAB, patients receive neuropsychological testing as well as comprehensive geriatric and neurological assessments and diagnosis, services that might not be available in other geriatric clinics or primary care services due to limited resources. By having all key services for patients and caregivers in one place, providers are becoming more attuned to challenges for coordinating care, such as the lack of a designated caregiver or primary care physician.

In addition to specialized patient services, caregivers are screened for stress and have appointments arranged for them with social workers. This helps to address challenges specific to caring for family members with Alzheimer’s, such as coordinating the availability of home care services.

The analysis in this manuscript, led by Dr. Verghese and co-authored by Jessica Zwerling, M.D, associate director, CAB and Rubina Malik, M.D, geriatrician, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, included 366 patients seen from June 2014 - June 2015. The most common diagnoses were subtypes of dementias and mild cognitive impairment syndromes. Patients, caregivers, and referring physicians reported satisfaction with the assessment outcomes.

In June, the combined expertise of the Montefiore Einstein Center for the Aging Brain (CAB) and Burke Rehabilitation's Memory Evaluation and Treatment Services (METS) won Montefiore the exclusive designation as Center of Excellence for Alzheimer’s Disease for the Hudson Valley. The 5-year grant from the New York State Department of Health is focused on expanding cognitive screening, diagnosis, and care planning efforts. It will also capitalize on the research and the training capabilities of Albert Einstein College of Medicine, where scientists and clinicians are investigating the biology of aging.


About Montefiore Health SystemMontefiore Health System is one of New York’s premier academic health systems and is a recognized leader in providing exceptional quality and personalized, accountable care to approximately three million people in communities across the Bronx, Westchester and the Hudson Valley. It is comprised of 10 hospitals, including the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore, Burke Rehabilitation Hospital and close to 200 outpatient care sites. The advanced clinical and translational research at its medical school, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, directly informs patient care and improves outcomes. From the Montefiore-Einstein Centers of Excellence in cancer, cardiology and vascular care, pediatrics, and transplantation, to its preeminent school-based health program, Montefiore is a fully integrated healthcare delivery system providing coordinated, comprehensive care to patients and their families. For more information please visit Follow us on Twitter and view us on Facebook and YouTube.