Conditions we address

The Leenaards Memory Centre - CHUV focuses on addressing disorders affecting memory and intellectual functions (language, reasoning, ability to make judgments, etc...).

The Centre deals primarily with Alzheimer's disease, which accounts for 50% of the cases seen. It also deals with memory disorders associated with Parkinson's disease,  with Lewy body disease, with cases of frontotemporal dementia affecting younger people, or even vascular dementia, linked to the accumulation of small strokes in the brain.

What are the causes?

The causes of these diseases are multiple and are not very well understood.

Two main factors have to be taken in consideration:

  • mechanisms of accelerated aging of the brain, in which the accumulation of toxic substances very gradually leads to the disappearance of brain tissue (in the case of Alzheimer's disease);
  • accumulation of small infarcts in the brain, which gradually impairs the brain's ability to compensate for these lesions.

These two causes are often associated with each other, especially in the very elderly.

What are the symptoms?

The main symptoms are:

  • memory problems affecting recent events of everyday life
  • reduced intellectual capacity, which results in difficulty in finding words, orientation, following a conversation or reading a book
  • behavioral and psychiatric symptoms such as a change of attitude or character, symptoms of depression or anxiety
  • a loss of autonomy

These symptoms develop very slowly and sometimes without the knowledge of the patients. Therefore, it is often their families who notice and worry about these problems.

 Last updated on 23/09/2020 at 16:13