Alzheimer’s Disease: Your Healthcare Team

Reviewed by: HU Medical Review Board | Last reviewed: December 2023 | Last updated: January 2024

If you have Alzheimer’s disease, or think you may have it, there are many doctors that can help. As with any chronic (long-term) condition, you may need a team of healthcare professionals. This will allow you to get the most thorough treatment possible.

Having a variety of doctors and healthcare specialists will help beyond treating your Alzheimer’s. It will also help in all areas of your life and overall wellness.

You may not find it necessary to see every kind of provider listed below. That is okay. Not everyone will have the same diagnostic journey or symptoms. So you may not have the same kind of doctors.

Primary care physician (PCP)

Your PCP is usually the first person you will speak to if you think you or a loved one has Alzheimer’s. PCPs are also known as generalists or family doctors. Your PCP is responsible for addressing general health concerns throughout your life. They usually specialize in one of the following areas:1

  • Family medicine
  • Gynecology
  • Internal medicine

Your PCP can provide you with initial assessments for Alzheimer’s. They may even be able to give you a complete exam and diagnosis. Ask them how familiar they are with dementia. You can also ask at what point they would consider referring you to a specialist.2

Neurologist or memory disorder specialist

Neurologists are trained in nervous system disorders. This includes most issues with the brain, spinal cord, and peripheral nerves (outside of the brain and spinal cord). Most neurologists learn about Alzheimer's and other dementias as part of their training. But they may not specialize in diagnosing and treating Alzheimer's.2

Some neurologists have a subspecialty. These subspecialists choose to concentrate on one disorder or one aspect of neural health. It is worth considering what a neurologist specializes in when you are trying to find a doctor who is a good fit for you. For example, there are neurologists who specialize in:2,3

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Cognitive neurology or dementia
  • Movement disorders

There are also providers called “memory disorder specialists.” Memory disorder specialists diagnose and treat dementia or other memory disorders. They can be:2,3

  • Neurologists
  • Psychiatrists
  • Psychologists
  • Geriatricians


Doctors that specialize in the care of older adults are called geriatricians. They are PCPs with specialized training for treating seniors.4

There is not a set minimum age for seeing a geriatrician. Most people with a geriatrician are over 75 years old. Geriatricians can be helpful if you have:4

  • More than one medical condition
  • A decline in health as a result of age
  • Age-related diseases like Alzheimer’s

Psychiatrist and psychologist

Psychiatrists are medical doctors. They focus on diagnosing and treating mental, behavioral, and emotional disorders. A psychiatrist may be helpful to rule out other causes of dementia or mental health issues. They can also help you address behavioral and emotional issues that may be a result of Alzheimer’s.5

Some psychiatrists specialize in geriatric psychiatry. This may be helpful, depending on the person's age at diagnosis.5

Psychologists have at least a bachelor's degree in psychology. They specialize in cognitive (thinking) aspects of behavior, psychological assessment and therapy, and more.6

Neuropsychologists have additional training to focus on assessing cognitive skills and function. Psychologists and neuropsychologists may be helpful in diagnosing and coping with the behavioral and mental health aspects of Alzheimer’s.2

These are just some of the healthcare providers who may be part of your care team for your Alzheimer's disease. Depending on symptoms, your physical health, and any other medical or lifestyle issues that may come up, your care team may look different and include one or more of these professionals.

There is no one "right" or "wrong" treatment team make-up. Each person with Alzheimer's is different. Your care – and who delivers it – should be tailored to your needs.

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