WVU Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute launches Memory Health Clinic for patients and caregivers

The West Virginia University Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute has officially launched its Memory Health Clinic, a multidisciplinary initiative offering clinical, research, and educational services for memory and cognitive impairment disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. The Clinic will focus on serving early-stage patients, in addition to their families and caregivers.

The WVU Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute lit up purple in September in recognition of Alzheimer's Awareness Month.
The WVU Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute lit up purple in September in recognition of Alzheimer's Awareness Month.

“Alzheimer’s and other dementias can impact an entire family and support system,” Ali Rezai, MD, executive chair of the WVU Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute, said. “Through an integrative approach, the Memory Health Clinic will deliver world-class care and resources for patients and their caregivers and open opportunities to access world-leading clinical trials exploring the use of focused ultrasound, transcranial magnetic stimulation, and virtual reality to help curb this life-altering disease.”

The integrative Clinic brings together a team of neurologists, geriatricians, neuropsychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, and nurse practitioners to offer the following services and opportunities:

  • Multidisciplinary Care: Multidisciplinary care to evaluate and diagnose patients with memory and cognitive disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.
  • Emotional and Resource Support: Formal assessments to better understand a caregiver’s emotional support needs, as well as their access to resources. The Clinic will also provide education and training for managing cognitive disorders and host caregiver support groups.
  • Clinical Trials and Research: Opportunities to enroll in groundbreaking clinical research trials exploring the use of Focused Ultrasound (FUS), Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS), Virtual Reality (VR), and wearable technologies to better treat Alzheimer's and memory disorders.

This integrative approach was recently evidenced in the Frontiers in Human Neuroscience journal, which published findings from the Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute’s research using FUS to treat Alzheimer’s. The clinical trial, which included several patients treated at the Institute, reported the reduction of beta-Amyloid plaque – a contributor to the progression of Alzheimer’s disease – after using the novel treatment to open the blood brain barrier.

Danny Joe Hinkle, 69, from Buckhannon, West Virginia, and his wife, Debbie, are treated by Marc Haut, PhD, vice chair and director of clinical research and education, at the Memory Health Clinic. Danny Joe Hinkle was diagnosed with major neurocognitive disorder/dementia.

“We are absolutely thrilled with the care my husband received at the Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute Memory Health Clinic. Dr. Haut follows up with us all the time. It really makes us feel like he cares and that we are not alone,” Debbie Hinkle said. “We really like that this Clinic not only focuses on my husband’s disease, but he is treating the entire family and addressing issues related to the family. When we talk to Dr. Haut, I feel like I’m talking to a friend. He answers all of our questions, and we never feel rushed. We are so thankful we have this resource in West Virginia.”

The Memory Health Clinic at WVU Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute has also partnered with West Virginia Project ECHO, the West Virginia Clinical and Translational Science Institute, and the Alzheimer’s Association to train rural primary providers and extend care to families across the state. The new ECHO Memory Health will utilize video-based Extended Community Health Outcomes (ECHO) for memory disorders to consult with and train providers in addressing diagnosis and treatment options. There will also be educational events to enhance learning opportunities.

For physician-to-physician consultations or to refer a patient, please call the Medical Access Referral Systems (MARS) at 800-982-6277.

About the WVU Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute
We are improving lives by pioneering advances in brain health. With the latest technologies, an ecosystem of partners, and an integrated approach, we are making tangible progress. Our goal is to combat public health challenges ranging from COVID-19 to addiction to Alzheimer’s, benefiting people in West Virginia and beyond. Learn more about the RNI’s innovative clinical trials and the top caliber experts joining us in our mission. For more information, visit WVUMedicine.org/RNI.