The University of California, San Francisco, Fresno CADC, was established in 1989, and is under the auspices of the UCSF Fresno Medical Education Program. The Fresno Center provides specialized diagnostic and treatment services to optimize the cognitive, functional, and behavioral abilities of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and to improve health care delivery and quality of life for both patients and caregivers. The UCSF-Fresno CADC serves ten rural counties in the Central Valley (Stanislaus, Tuolomne, Merced, Mariposa, Madera, Fresno, Tulare, Kings, and Kern) and the Central Coast (San Luis Obispo county). The service area is very rural in places, with some counties having a very high Hispanic population (51% in Tulare county). As the risk of developing AD increases dramatically with age – to nearly 50% of individuals 85 or older - many of the areas’ seniors and their families will unfortunately be affected by this degenerative disorder. Given the large number of seniors at risk of developing cognitive impairment, the UCSF-Fresno CADC is actively addressing this problem by offering patients and their families access to state-of-the-art diagnostic and treatment services, specialized support groups, and educational programs about AD and the related dementias.
Early identification of cognitive decline and AD is critical so that available treatments, which are most effective before extensive damage to the brain has occurred, can be started, and families can plan for the future, take advantage of available community services, and develop effective coping strategies. UCSF-Fresno CADC clinicians bring state of the art methods to accurately differentiate between normal aging, Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI), and dementia. The UCSF-Fresno CADC also brings state of the art culturally sensitive methods to assist English and Spanish speaking individuals and their families through the diagnostic process. In fact, approximately a third of all new patients seeking diagnostic services at the UCSF-Fresno CADC over the past 10 years have been of minority background, with these numbers increasing every year.
The UCSF-Fresno CADC translates basic findings from the laboratory into general practice within the broader health care community in a cost-effective fashion. Better behavioral and pharmaceutical interventions must be developed in tandem.
The CADCs have helped to build a vital workforce for the growing needs of the State addressing the current and changing demographic needs in California. This includes the training of physicians, nurses, physician’s assistants, health care professionals, and research investigators. Since 2000, the UCSF-Fresno CADC has trained professionals and students through residencies, internships, rotations, clerkships, continuing medical education courses, academic classes, lectures, and presentations. The UCSF-Fresno CADC has also developed training programs for nursing home and residential care facility staff. Through their training programs the CADCs have shaped the practice of doctors, nurses, psychologists, social workers and other providers who now staff hospitals, clinics, and longer term living facilities throughout the state making daily life more manageable for thousands of people who struggle with the demands of caregiving and the ravages of the AD.
The UCSF-Fresno CADC has also educated the lay public, caregivers and families on cognitive decline, prevention strategies, and the management of those afflicted by MCI and AD. The UCSF-Fresno CADC provides many forums on AD education and also serves to integrate education opportunities in the community. The community looks to and depends on the UCSF-Fresno CADC for high quality education.
The limitations in the current health care delivery environment and constrained budgets in both the public and private sectors require solutions that are cost-effective for patients and their families, as well as for businesses. The Centers continue to provide education, provide new opportunities for improving the quality of life of the elderly, and reduce the burden for those with dementia in California.
Referrals from physicians, other healthcare providers, and agencies are welcome. No referral is necessary for a memory assessment. We specialize in the evaluation of memory loss, Alzheimer's disease and related illnesses such as frontotemporal lobe dementia and vascular dementia, and mild cognitive impairment. We have the expertise for complex or unusual cases, and are happy to provide second opinions.
Costs for diagnostic evaluations and professional services may vary on an individual basis. Please contact us for more information. Often, tests performed outside of our CADC may be necessary to complete a diagnostic workup, such as laboratory tests and/or brain scans.
Our Center is part of the UCSF Fresno Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center. We have an active Autopsy program that any patient may enter after diagnosis. We follow these patients over many years. We refer interested patients to clinical trials evaluating new ways of treating and diagnosing Alzheimer's disease. We also refer patients to studies of aging, and how different factors may protect against or accelerate mental decline in old age. Depending on your eligibility you may be invited to take part in one or more of these studies.