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Please note that clinic appointments may be virtual visits. The clinic team will let you know what type of appointment is appropriate for your care. Learn more about virtual visits at UHN »

 What We Do

The memory clinic at the Krembil Neuroscience Centre​ is made up of a group of health care specialists dedicated to helping patients overcome and deal with cognitive changes that include disorders of memory, language, thinking or personality. We provide access to neurologists, geriatric psychiatrists, a geriatrician, a nurse, an occupational therapist and a social worker.

About 750,000 Canadians suffer from dementia. Accurate, timely diagnosis is integral to getting the care a patient needs. ​​

Types of Conditions Treated

As we get older, many of us notice some changes in memory, language, thinking or personality. But if memory loss or changes in language, thinking or personality starts to interfere with your daily activities and routines or those of someone you care about, you should speak to a doctor.

Some of the symptoms of memory loss can include:

  • ​Changes in performing daily activities or changes in job performance
  • Becoming more forgetful; having trouble with short-term memory
  • Needing more reminders
  • Forgetting recent conversations
  • Asking the same question over and over again
  • Forgetting appointments, special occasions, or forgetting to take medications
  • Difficulty finding the right word or losing one's train of thought in mid-sentence
  • Regularly misplacing items, such as keys or wallet
  • Difficultly looking after finances (writing cheques, banking or investing money)
  • Getting lost in familiar areas
  • Changes in personality; for example, feeling sad, irritable or less interested​​​

How to Prepare

The appointment usually lasts about 1 to 3 hours. The patient can be seen by several members of the team. Memory tests and physical and neurological (brain function) examinations are performed. The family member or friend who comes in with the patient may also meet with the doctors and other team members if it's necessary. Follow-up appointments usually take from 20 minutes to an hour.

Learn more about what you can expect when you have a clinic appointment.

Resources from the Patient & Family Education Program PDF Icon

* These material(s) are also available in other languages.

Visit our health information section.​

 Meet Our Team

​​​​​We understand that memory disorders can be challenging for both patients and their caregivers. Our aim is to provide not only the best medical care for patients, but also the kind of support that allows patients and their caregivers to live the highest quality of life possible.

Our team includes several specialists trained in the diagnosis and treatment of cognitive (brain) disorders in older adults. We have on staff a geriatric psychiatrist, a geriatrician, behavioural neurologists, a social worker, an occupational therapist and a registered nurse. 

Clinical Co-Directors

Geriatric Psychiatrist

Neurologists:

Geriatrics: Dr. Barry Goldlist

Nursing: Elena Cacchione

Social Work: Maria Martinez

Occupational Therapy: Natali Mizdrak

Memory Clinic Trials Unit: Behnaz Ghazanfari, Amy Obssi, Cristina Salvo (Research Assistants)

 Research Opportunities at the Memory Clinic

4RTNI-2: 4-Repeat Tauopathy Neuroimaging Initiative – Cycle 2

This is an observational study which aims to determine the natural history of insoluble tau deposition as measured by PET scans in Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP) and Corticobasal Degeneration (CBD) patients as compared to age matched normal elders, quantify the longitudinal changes in cerebrospinal fluid as compared with other fluid biomarkers of neurodegeneration, measure ocular neuronal injury markers over time and to determine the clinical, MRI and neuronal injury marker correlates of tau deposition measured by PET.

Participants and their caregivers are asked to come in for 3 visits every 6 months for baseline, 6-month and 12-month visits. A select group of participants (those diagnosed to have oligovariant PSP and healthy controls) will be asked to come back for a 24-month visit. Each visit will take 2-3 full days to complete and will involve the following assessments: MRI scan, PET scan, blood draw, clinical assessment, neuropsychological assessments, eye testing, study partner interview and an optional lumbar puncture.

For further information, please call Cristina Salvo, Clinical Research Study Assistant at 416 507 6880 or email cristina.salvo@uhn.ca.


CIHR-FTLD: Multimodal Assessment for Predicting Pathological Substrate in Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration

This is an observational study which aims to establish diagnostic tools in order to make an accurate ante-mortem clinical and pathological diagnosis of patients with clinical FTLD syndromes. Eligible participants and their caregivers are asked to come in for one study visit which usually takes 2-3 full days during which the following assessments are performed: MRI scan, PET scan, blood draw, clinical assessment, neuropsychological testing, study partner interview and an optional lumbar puncture.

For further information, please call Cristina Salvo, Clinical Research Study Assistant at 416 507 6880 or email cristina.salvo@uhn.ca.


FOXY: A Phase 2 Clinical Trial of Intranasal Oxytocin for Frontotemporal Dementia

This is a double blind, placebo-controlled study which aims to test the hypothesis that intranasal oxytocin will reduce social apathy and empathy deficits as compared with placebo in patients with Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD). Three dose schedules of intranasal oxytocin (low, medium and high) will be tested on eligible participants. Patients and their caregivers will be asked to come in for a 1-day screening visit during which the following tests will be done: 12-lead electrocardiogram (ECG), blood draw, clinical assessments, neuropsychological testing and MRI (if no previous MRI scans are available). Upon successful screening, the participant and the study partner will be asked to come back for 4 more study visits (Baseline 1, End of Treatment 1, Baseline 2 and End of Treatment 2). Each of these study visits will take 1 day to complete and will involve the following common assessments: ECG, blood draw, clinical assessments and neuropsychological testing. The entire study will take approximately 22 weeks to complete.

For further information, please call Cristina Salvo, Clinical Research Study Assistant at 416 507 6880 or email cristina.salvo@uhn.ca.


ALLFTD: ARTFL LEFFTDS Longitudinal Frontotemporal Dementia Study

This is a 5-year observational study which aims to evaluate sporadic and familial frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) patients and asymptomatic family members of familial FTLD patients. The study has two arms: a “longitudinal arm” involving a comprehensive assessment of clinical, functional, imaging, and biofluid data collection, and a “biofluid focused arm” involving limited clinical data to accompany biospecimen collection. The Longitudinal arm takes 2-3 days to complete all study assessments (blood draw, clinical assessments, neuropsychological testing, MRI and optional lumbar puncture) and the Biofluid arm involves 1 day to complete limited assessments (blood draw, clinical assessments, neuropsychological testing and optional lumbar puncture). Participants in the Longitudinal arm will be asked to come back every year for 5 years to complete the same assessments while participants in the Biofluid arm will be followed up remotely by phone interview and online surveys. A reliable study partner who can report on the participant’s recent behavior, cognitive and functional abilities will have to be available in order to be eligible for the study.

For further information, please call Cristina Salvo, Clinical Research Study Assistant at 416 507 6880 or email cristina.salvo@uhn.ca.


Empathy Study: A pilot study assessing the benefits of a dementia caregiver educational brochure on decreased empathy and emotion recognition in patients with neurodegenerative disease

This study is investigating the use of an educational booklet about emotion recognition changes in people with cognitive impairment, dementia, and neurodegenerative disease and is primarily measuring caregiver mood, emotions, and burden. The study involves a ~2-hour appointment at Toronto Western Hospital and you will be compensated $25 for this study visit to cover transportation/parking. There will be a task where both the caregiver and the patient (separately) guess the emotions of the people in a video, questionnaires for the caregiver, and time to read through the educational booklet and to evaluate it. One month from the appointment, we will call the caregiver again and complete some of the questionnaires over the phone (~20 min).

For further information, please call Cristina Salvo, Clinical Research Study Assistant at 416 507 6880 or email cristina.salvo@uhn.ca and specify Empathy Study.


Oculomotor Function Testing in Patients Who Suffered Concussion

This study is investigating the use self-paced saccades (and other oculomotor measures) in patients with acute concussion as a biomarker for detection and examine the change in self-paced saccades (and other oculomotor measures) over 6 months in patients who suffered a concussion (compared to controls).

Patients will be given questionnaires (10 minutes) and have oculomotor function testing (30 minutes) at baseline (i.e., within 7 days of concussion) and 3 follow-up visits (i.e., 1, 3, and 6 months after concussion).

For information, please contact Mozhgan Khodadadi at 416 603 5800 ext. 4025 or email mozhgan.khodadadi@uhn.ca.


Post-Concussion Syndrome in Professional Athletes: A Multidisciplinary Study

The purpose of this research is to examine the relationship between repeated concussions and late decline of brain function. For this research study, we are asking athletes some of whom suffer from the after-effects of repeated concussions to undergo a series of clinical, imaging and blood tests outlined below in order to examine the effects of repeated concussions on brain function and brain structure. In addition, all participants agreeing to participate in the study will be asked to will their brains to The Krembil Neuroscience Centre Concussion Project at the Toronto Western Hospital with the consent and full knowledge of their families and doctors. However, it is possible to participate in the research without agreeing to a brain donation.

For information, please contact Mozhgan Khodadadi at 416 603 5800 ext. 4025 or email mozhgan.khodadadi@uhn.ca.


ANAVEX2-73 Study

This is a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study. This clinical trial will investigate the safety and potential efficacy (whether a drug works) of ANAVEX2-73 in patients aged 60 to 85 years of age with early Alzheimer's disease. The drug has shown in research studies that it may improve mental activities that are involved in learning, remembering and using general daily knowledge. It may protect brain neurons (brain nerve cells) that are usually damaged in Alzheimer's disease. It is thought that ANAVEX2-73 acts by attaching to and activating specific proteins called "survival receptors". This may enable ANAVEX2-73 to modify AD. This study will involve participation for approximately 52 weeks.

For further information, please call 416 603 5910 or email bghazanf@uhnresearch.ca​.


CCNA: The Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging

Observation study of people with various types of dementia and/or cognitive complaints between the ages of 50-90. This study aims at determining who is at risk of developing dementia, which tests are most effective at detecting dementia, and helping with the understanding and diagnosis of the following forms of dementia: Mild Cognitive Impairment, Alzheimer's disease, Frontotemporal Dementia, Lewy Body Dementia, Parkinson's Disease, as well as healthy controls. Study collects clinical, neuropsychological, and MRI imaging data from study participants.

For further information, please call 416 603 5910 or email bghazanf@uhnresearch.ca​.


BEAM: Brain-Eye Amyloid Memory Study

Observation study to investigate how effective non-invasive eye measurements are at identifying participants aged 50-90 with various types of dementias including: Mild Cognitive Impairment, Alzheimer's Disease, Vascular Cognitive Impairment, Parkinson's Disease, Lewy Body Disease, and healthy controls. Study collects clinical, neuropsychological, MRI imaging data, PET imaging data, eye-tracking data, and ocular measurements.

For further information, please call 416 603 5910 or email bghazanf@uhnresearch.ca​.


If interested in drug trials for Alzheimer's Disease or Frontotemporal dementia, please contact the Toronto Western Hospital Memory Clinic Trials Unit at 416 603 5910.

 Our Workshops and Special Events

Past Events

Young Onset Dementia: An Online Knowledge Exchange Event

Date: June 16, 2020
Time: 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
Location: Online

For more information, please visit Young Onset Dementia: An Online Knowledge Exchange Event.

​Dementia Care Partner Educational Workshop Series

Session 10: Nothing About Us without Us: Creating the first Canadian Charter of Rights for People with Dementia
with Roger Marple, ASC Advisory Group Co-Chair, Riley Malvern and Shrid Dhungel, both with the Alzheimer Society of Toronto
Date: Friday, September 25, 2020
Time: 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm

Session 9: Swallowing and communication challenges in dementia
with Nesanet Girma, MSc, SLP Reg. CASLPO, Speech Language Pathologist, Toronto Western Hospital
Date: Wednesday, January 15, 2020
Time: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Session 8: Living Better: What is palliative care and how does is help improve quality of life in dementia?
with Warren Lewin, MD, CCFP, Haley Draper, MD, CCFP and Nadine Gebara, MD, CCFP – Attending Physicians – Palliative Care at UHN – Toronto Western Hospital & Kensington Hospice, Deptartment of Family & Community Medicine – University of Toronto
Date: Wednesday, September 4, 2019
Time: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Session 7: Home Sweet Home: A quick guide to home safety for people with dementia and their caregivers
with Natali Mizdrak, MSc., OT Reg (Ont), Occupational Therapist, Internal Medicine, Cardiology & Memory Clinic
Date: Thursday, April 25, 2019
Time: 10 am to 12 pm
​​

Session 6: Atypical Forms of Dementia​ (Young-onset Alzheimer’s disease, Frontotemporal dementia, Primary progressive aphasia, Progressive supranuclear palsy, Corticobasal syndrome,​ ​​etc.)
with Dr. Carmela Tartaglia
Date: Thursday, January 17, 2019
Time: 10 am to 12 pm
​Miss the session? Watch the recording on ​YouTube.

Session 5: Legal Aspects of Dementia
with Health Lawyer Mary Jane Dykeman and Dr. Julie Spence
Date: Wednesday, October 3, 2018
Time: 10 am to 12 pm
Miss the session? Watch the recording​​ on YouTube​.

Session 4: Emotional Aspects of Caregiving
with Shauna Cairns Gundy, Pastoral Associate​, Maria Martinez, Social Worker and a Care Partner
Date: Thursday, July 26, 2018​
Time: 10 am to 12 pm
Miss the session? Watch the recording on YouTube.​

Session 3: Long-term Care Planning
with a Special Guest​ from TC L​HIN, Home and Community Care
Date: Thursday, April 26, 2018
Time: 10 am to 12 pm​
Miss the session? Watch the recording on YouTube​​​.

Session 2: Behavioural Management
with Dr. Andrea Iaboni
Date: Wednesday, January 17, 2018​
Time: 10 am to 12 pm
Miss the session? Watch the recording on YouTube.

Session 1: General Overview of Dementia
with Dr. Carmela Tartaglia
Date: Friday, November 10, 2017 
Time: 10 am to 12 pm​
Miss the session? Watch the recording on YouT​​ube​.


 

5th Annual Dementia Caregiver Appreciation Day

Date: Saturday, October 22, 2016.

We were once again honoured to have several speakers discuss different topics related to dementia such as an Overview of What's New in Dementia Research, Tips for Home Safety, Strategies for Managing Challenging Behaviours and an Overview of Financial Assistance Programs. Our care partners who agreed to present their experiences were once again of vital importance to the success of our event because all the participants learned directly from the experts themselves, the direct care partners of people with dementia.  We were honoured to have a Certified Laughter Yoga Teacher end the day with lots of laughter. If you were unable to make it, please see our video below. We hope you are able to join us for our next event. Stay tuned for more information!

 
2016 Caregiver Appreciation & Information Day

4th Annual Dementia Caregiver Appreciation Day

Date: Saturday, November 7, 2015

We were honoured to have several speakers discuss topics ranging from Driving and Dementia, Power of Attorney and Advance Care Planning, Planning for Long-Term Care and Navigating the Healthcare System. We were also honoured to have caregivers speak honestly and openly about their experiences in looking after someone with dementia. We ended the day with a Shiatsu Therapist who provided some useful techniques in shiatsu for people with dementia and their care partners. If you were unable to make it, please see our video below. 

​ 
2015 Caregiver Appreciation & Information Day

3rd Annual Dementia Caregiver Appreciation Day

Date: Saturday, November 14, 2014

The UHN Memory Clinic celebrated their second Dementia caregivers’ Appreciation and Information Day on Saturday, November 8, 2014.​

We were honoured to have several speakers discuss topics ranging from Advanced Care Planning, Managing Behavioural Issues and from caregivers directly. Presentations have been posted below.