FAQ

What is “Neuronio” and what does it do?

Neuronio is a neurology clinic that is specialized in cognitive and memory disorders using artificial intelligence technologies. The Neuronio Clinic has been launched to assess and screen the cognitive health of people over the age of 20 and especially over the age of 50. In this clinic, a group of experts trained in the field of cognition and artificial intelligence have gathered to provide a comprehensive set of related services to suit each person.

The Neuronio Clinic assesses the status of cognition and memory in healthy people who have no complaints and simply want to be evaluated, people who report different degrees of cognitive impairment, and people with dementia in a comprehensive manner, and then will give appropriate solutions that fit each person’s need.

How does the Neuronio Clinic use “artificial intelligence technologies”?

Neuronio Clinic uses artificial intelligence technologies to record information, evaluate, provide services, and communicate with patients.

Using artificial intelligence technologies to record information and evaluate patients: At the Neuronio Clinic, the traditional method of recording information of patients in “paper files” has been removed and replaced by “electronic files“. Treatment staff members enter patient information into electronic system. By creating an electronic file and storing patient information online, it is possible for both the patient and the treatment staff to enjoy virtual visits at any place and at any time, or in other words, to use the “Neuronio virtual clinic”.

Using artificial intelligence technologies in providing services and communication with patients: to make appointments and provide the requested medical documents, patients can use the “Docup” mobile application, which is connected to the internal electronic system of the Neuronio Clinic. Treatment staff can remotely access this information without the need for physical presence of patients. With this remote method of communication with patients which is called “tele medicine” the treatment staff send the instructions for patients without face-to-face visit and are in close contact with them. Using the Docup application, the treatment staff send educational materials to the patients in the form of clip or any other form about cognition, cognitive disorders, dementia, etc. from time to time to increase their level of awareness and make the treatment more effective.

What is the “Neuronio virtual clinic”?

Neuronio Clinic, like other clinics, will visit patients in person, but has made it possible to visit patients virtually in addition to face-to-face visits. This part of the clinic where the communication between the patient and the treatment staff is virtual is called the “Neuronio virtual clinic”.

What is the first step to virtual visit or using the Neuronio virtual clinic?

The first step in order to be able to communicate with the treatment staff remotely and through the Neuronio virtual clinic is to install the “Docup” application on your mobile phone.

What is “Docup”?

Docup” is an application that is installed on mobile phones. This application is a kind of smart health platform that uses “telemedicine” method to allow patients and medical staff to be in close contact with each other virtually without the need for face-to-face interactions.

How should I install the “Docup” application on my cell phone?

Go to http://neuronio.ir/ and click on the “Neuronio virtual clinic” section. A page opens below it that has three options. The second and third options are the download link of the Docup application for Android and iOS versions, respectively. Depending on the operating system of your mobile phone, by clicking on the desired option, you can easily download the application file on your mobile phone. After the download is complete, click on the install option and then select the open option. You have entered the docup when the application is opened.

Another way is to enter the Dockup site directly through the link https://docup.ir/ and based on whether the operating system of your mobile phone is Android or iOS, click on the desired option to easily download it on your phone and then follow the same abovementioned steps.

What should I do after installing the Docup app on my cell phone?

After you have installed the “Docup” application on your mobile phone, you must register in it.

How can I ask my questions?

After registering in the “Docup” application that you have installed on your mobile phone, you can request the visit by selecting the desired specialist from the treatment staff menu and then setting the appropriate time for the appointment. Your request will be sent to the specialist who must confirm your request. After the expert’s approval, your visit is finally registered and you can ask your questions during your appointment. You can choose the visit according to your taste. This visit can be in person, phone call, video call or via chat.

Does the Neuron Clinic also have a face-to-face visit?

Yes, this clinic has tried to have various types of communication ways for all tastes, so it is possible for those who prefer a face-to-face visit.

 

What services does Neuronio provide?

The services of the Neuronio Clinic include the following specialties that will be provided to suit each individual: a visit to a neurologist, a cognition and memory specialist, a psychologist specializing in cognitive affairs, a psychiatric, a nutritionist, a physical rehabilitation specialist and a cognitive rehabilitation specialist. The main purpose of the Neuronio Clinic is to screen people for cognitive and memory impairments, and to help promote it in healthy people and people with this kind of disorders; Therefore, according to each person’s need, it offers solutions to prevent cognition and memory loss and strengthen it.

What is Alzheimer’s disease?

The most common form of dementia is the Alzheimer’s disease. It is characterized by disruption of two proteins in the brain: amyloid and tau. The deposition of these proteins will cause the death of the brain cells which is called neurodegeneration. The most important risk factor for the Alzheimer’s disease is aging. As the population of the world is aging, the number of people suffering from the Alzheimer’s disease is growing. The typical form of the disease usually starts from the hippocampus, the center of the short-term memory. So the most common symptom of these patients is memory problems.

Is Alzheimer’s disease a hereditary condition?

Alzheimer’s disease is not hereditary in almost 90% of cases. It usually manifests itself after 65 years of age and is called “late-onset” Alzheimer’s disease. The remaining 10% are hereditary and almost always there are more than one person affected in the whole family. This form occurs before the age of 65 and therefore is called “early-onset” Alzheimer’s disease.

I have got forgetfulness, am I demented?

In order to consider forgetfulness or any other symptom dementia following criterion must be met: it has to be declined from previous levels, it must not be explained by other major diseases, it must interfere with the person’s daily activities so that he/she cannot do daily functions, personal affairs and complex tasks independently and without the help of others and it should be confirmed by medical assessment in addition to the patient himself and close people.

What are behavioral changes related to dementia?

Uncharacteristic mood fluctuations such as agitation, impaired motivation, initiative, apathy, loss of drive, social withdrawal, decreased interest in previous activities, loss of empathy, compulsive or obsessive behaviors and socially unacceptable behaviors.

I have always had a weak memory since childhood, do I have dementia?

Note that there has to be a decline compared to the past to consider any symptom dementia and any person demented. So if one symptom has existed from childhood we cannot consider it as dementia and it is considered as a characteristic for that person.

How can I improve my cognition or prevent cognitive decline?

It is achieved by reducing the risk factors and enhancing the protective factors for Alzheimer’s disease. The risk factors are high Body-mass-index, smoking, underlying diseases like diabetes, hypertension and hyperlipidemia, low levels of vitamin B12 and folic acid, low physical activity, low social engagement and not willing to do social activities. The protective factors are regular physical activities, healthy nutrition, doing cognitive enhancement activities e.g., learning multiple new skills, learning a new language, learning to play any musical instrument, reading books and watching movies and then interpreting and defining them for others.

Is there a cure for dementia?

Pharmaceutical agents available to date are capable of slowing the rate of the progression of the Alzheimer’s disease; but cannot prevent of, reverse or cure the disease.

It is of high value that in regard to the treatment of the disease there are non-pharmaceutical ways which are proved to be effective to prevent or delay the disease; the most important ones are good life style and healthy nutrition; Examples are doing exercise, quit smoking, engagement in social activities, doing hobbies, precise control of underlying diseases like hypertension, diabetes and hyperlipidemia, keeping the BMI within the normal range, sufficient intake of vitamins specially vitamin B12 and folic acid and etc.

What is cognition?

Cognition is our brain highest-level functions that enables us to think, learn, memorize, communicate with others by understanding and speaking to people, writing and reading, cook, drive, do monetary issues, judge, solve problems, plan, concentrate, pay attention and etc. All these cognitive functions of our brains differentiate us as humans from non-human primates and other creatures and make our personality and behavior.

What are domains of cognition?

Domains of cognition are:

  • memory, like remembering appointments, place of personal objects, what others have told us, what the book or film was about,
  • learning, like learning how to work with cell phone and its applications,
  • language, fluency, comprehension, finding words while speaking, writing and reading,
  • visuospatial ability, finding familiar routes, picking up objects on the table easily,
  • thinking and reasoning,
  • feelings,
  • orientation to time and space, knowing time of the day, the day of the week, month and year, orientation to where he/she is, the city and the country,
  • and the broad range of executive functions including
    • judgement,
    • problem solving,
    • concentration,
    • calculation, like working with numbers in the Bank, calculating the total price and the remaining of shopping,
    • planning, how to prepare a meal sequentially and correctly,
    • decision making,
    • organization,
    • self–control,
    • attention,
    • abstract thinking like understanding proverbs and poems.

What is cognitive impairment and what are its forms?

Impairment in any domain of the cognition is called cognitive impairment. Cognitive impairment is a continuous range of impairments begin from mild stages and if it is irreversible it will progress to more severe stages.

The first and mildest stage is called subjective cognitive impairment or SCI. In this very first stage the person himself finds decline in his/her cognitive abilities which are not clear to other close relatives including family members and colleagues at work. The individual can still do his/her daily routine independently and without the help of others to the previous levels.

By progressing to the next stage that individual will enter the second stage called mild cognitive impairment or MCI. In this level not only the person himself is aware of his/her symptoms but also close family members and colleagues at work can see some of these impairments. If he/she is evaluated by medical team these problems are detectable through a comprehensive and intensive cognitive assessment. In this stage the person is still capable of doing his daily functions independently but has little problems with some complex task.

By entering the third stage the cognitive impairments become more severe to the level that he/she is no longer capable of doing daily affairs independently and has to get help from others. From this time point on the word “impairment” is replaced by “dementia” and that person is called “patient“. In this stage the symptoms are more prominent, close surrounding people are more aware of the decline in his/her performance and medical assessment tools are more easily able to diagnose and confirm these symptoms. This stage is irreversible and depending on how well they take care of themselves, the disease will progress to more advanced stages at different speeds.

What are examples of cognitive impairments in daily routines?

Repetitive questions or conversations, misplacing personal belongings, forgetting events or appointments, getting lost on a familiar route, difficulty with handling of complex tasks, poor judgment, poor understanding of safety risks, inability to manage finances, inability to shop alone, hesitate to participate in social activities, poor decision-making ability, inability to plan complex or sequential activities, inability to recognize faces or common objects or to find objects in direct view despite good acuity, inability to operate simple implements, or orient clothing to the body, trouble understanding others, trouble finding words while speaking, using incorrect words, spelling, and writing errors, disorientation to time and place and etc.

To what stage is cognitive impairment reversible?

40% of MCI patients are reversible but the remaining 60% will progress to more severe stage which is dementia and irreversible.

What is dementia?

When there is impairment in any cognitive domains and/or behavior that interfere with the independent living of individuals and thereby disrupts the ability to function at daily routines or at work as normally as before, that individual will be diagnosed with dementia which is irreversible.

Note that to call somebody demented that person’s cognitive functions must have decreased compared to the past; and it should not be explained by other disorders; and the dementia diagnosis should be obtained by not only the statements of the patient and/or his/her informant, but also the physician should confirm these impairments via special assessments; and the most important is that the person’s independence in doing personal and daily affaires must be significantly affected.

What is the difference between dementia and disease?

Dementia is a collection of cognitive symptoms and impairments that interfere with a person’s daily activities. Dementia is not a disease but many diseases can cause dementia.

Which diseases imitate dementia or in other words cause reversible cognitive impairments?

Certain diseases can cause pseudo-dementia that by treating them the symptoms will be declined or eliminated. Examples are pseudo-dementia due to reaction to a drug or interaction between multiple drugs, nutritional deficiencies like dehydration, vitamin B12, B6, E or cu deficiency or vitamin B1 deficiency in alcoholics and diabetes and absorption disorders, infections and inflammations, metabolic disorders like hypoglycemia, thyroid dysfunctions, low sodium or calcium levels, intra-skull hemorrhage of the subdural hematoma type usually occur in elderly after falling, poisoning with heavy metals like lead, with pesticides or alcohol, brain tumors, normal pressure hydrocephalus, hypoxia due to sleep apnea or cardiac attacks or monoxide poisoning.

Which diseases cause dementia or in other words cause irreversible cognitive impairments?

Diseases which destruct and ruin brain cells which is called neurodegeneration can cause dementia and include:

  • Alzheimer’s disease (AD),
  • Dementia with Lewy Bodies (LBD),
  • Parkinson Disease Dementia (PDD),
  • Multiple System Atrophy (MSA),
  • Cortico-Basal Degeneration (CBD),
  • Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP),
  • behavioral variant Fronto-Temopral Dementia (bvFTD),
  • non-fluent variant of Primary Progressive Aphasia (nfvPPA),
  • semantic variant of Primary Progressive Aphasia (svPPA),
  • logopenic variant of Primary Progressive Aphasia (lvPPA),
  • Vascular Dementia (VaD),
  • Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE),
  • Posterior Cortical Atrophy (PCA),
  • And mixed etiologies.

What is the most common cause of dementia?

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia in people aged 65 years and older and behavioral variant of frontotemporal dementia is the most common in those under 65 years of age.

What is Alzheimer’s disease?

The most common form of dementia is the Alzheimer’s disease. It is characterized by disruption of two proteins in the brain: amyloid and tau. The deposition of these proteins will cause the death of the brain cells which is called neurodegeneration. The most important risk factor for the Alzheimer’s disease is aging. As the population of the world is aging, the number of people suffering from the Alzheimer’s disease is growing. The typical form of the disease usually starts from the hippocampus, the center of the short-term memory. So the most common symptom of these patients is memory problems.

Is Alzheimer’s disease a hereditary condition?

Alzheimer’s disease is not hereditary in almost 90% of cases. It usually manifests itself after 65 years of age and is called “late-onset” Alzheimer’s disease. The remaining 10% are hereditary and almost always there are more than one person affected in the whole family. This form occurs before the age of 65 and therefore is called “early-onset” Alzheimer’s disease.

I have got forgetfulness, am I demented?

In order to consider forgetfulness or any other symptom dementia following criterion must be met: it has to be declined from previous levels, it must not be explained by other major diseases, it must interfere with the person’s daily activities so that he/she cannot do daily functions, personal affairs and complex tasks independently and without the help of others and it should be confirmed by medical assessment in addition to the patient himself and close people.

What are behavioral changes related to dementia?

Uncharacteristic mood fluctuations such as agitation, impaired motivation, initiative, apathy, loss of drive, social withdrawal, decreased interest in previous activities, loss of empathy, compulsive or obsessive behaviors and socially unacceptable behaviors.

I have always had a weak memory since childhood, do I have dementia?

Note that there has to be a decline compared to the past to consider any symptom dementia and any person demented. So if one symptom has existed from childhood we cannot consider it as dementia and it is considered as a characteristic for that person.

How can I improve my cognition or prevent cognitive decline?

It is achieved by reducing the risk factors and enhancing the protective factors for Alzheimer’s disease. The risk factors are high Body-mass-index, smoking, underlying diseases like diabetes, hypertension and hyperlipidemia, low levels of vitamin B12 and folic acid, low physical activity, low social engagement and not willing to do social activities. The protective factors are regular physical activities, healthy nutrition, doing cognitive enhancement activities e.g., learning multiple new skills, learning a new language, learning to play any musical instrument, reading books and watching movies and then interpreting and defining them for others.

Is there a cure for dementia?

Pharmaceutical agents available to date are capable of slowing the rate of the progression of the Alzheimer’s disease; but cannot prevent of, reverse or cure the disease.

It is of high value that in regard to the treatment of the disease there are non-pharmaceutical ways which are proved to be effective to prevent or delay the disease; the most important ones are good life style and healthy nutrition; Examples are doing exercise, quit smoking, engagement in social activities, doing hobbies, precise control of underlying diseases like hypertension, diabetes and hyperlipidemia, keeping the BMI within the normal range, sufficient intake of vitamins specially vitamin B12 and folic acid and etc.