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Henry Ford post-ICU brain health clinic for COVID-19 patients opens

Press releases may be edited for formatting or style | April 08, 2021 Alzheimers/Neurology Emergency Medicine
DETROIT (April 8, 2021) — Henry Ford Health System has established a specialty clinic to treat COVID-19 and other patients who have lingering cognitive, emotional and mental health conditions after being hospitalized in the intensive care unit.

As an increasing number of COVID-19 patients recover and are discharged from the hospital, it is anticipated that well into the future, many will need help getting back to their normal physical and mental functioning.

Henry Ford’s Post ICU Brain Health Clinic opened recently at its neuropsychology centers in Detroit and West Bloomfield. Clinic staff conduct evaluations, make recommendations for treatment and provide resources for anyone ages 55 and older who was hospitalized in the ICU in the past year and continues to experience cognitive, behavioral or psychiatric symptoms. In addition, services will be offered for caregivers to learn new tools and strategies for caring for and supporting their loved one as well as home health visits to assist patients with using telemedicine.

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The clinic is headed by board-certified neuropsychologists with specialized expertise in aging, neuropsychiatric conditions, assessment and treatment of older adults and caregivers.

It was made possible by a $500,000 Healthy Aging Grant from the Michigan Health Endowment Fund. A portion of the funding will be allocated to help uninsured patients overcome their financial barrier to receiving these much-needed services.

“Patients who end up in the ICU can experience lasting issues with mental processing and carrying out simple tasks,” said project coordinator Maya Pinjala, Ph.D. “Also, emotional issues may be compounded because patients are not able to have visitors in the hospital or establish a personal connection with their providers because of the facemask and other PPE they’re wearing.”

Critical illness represents a serious condition that requires treatment in an ICU. Approximately 1.4 million older adults in the United States survive an episode of critical illness each year, and an estimated 30% to 80% of them experience a wide range of physical, cognitive, and psychiatric impairments following discharge from the hospital.

Family members of ICU patients may also experience anxiety, acute stress disorder, post-traumatic stress, depression, or complicated grief, a syndrome known as post-intensive care syndrome-family (PICS-F), which can directly affect the family member’s ability to fully engage in caregiving functions.

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