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Moncton Interdisciplinary Neurodegenerative Diseases (MIND) Clinic

Horizon’s MIND Clinic is New Brunswick’s first and only cross-specialty collaborative precision medicine clinic for neurocognitive disorders affecting adult patients of any age.

The team’s primary goal is to assess, diagnose, and provide ongoing care and treatment to patients with progressive neurodegenerative diseases to improve their quality of life, and provide family support.

The MIND Clinic also:

  • Helps patients and families access community resources and supports.
  • Facilitates education for patients/families and health care workers on the ethical and practical issues of living and working with neurodegenerative diseases.
  • Conducts research into neurodegenerative conditions affecting New Brunswickers to understand the impact in New Brunswick; studies the ethical issues of these types of diagnoses for patients and families; and facilitates access to clinical trials of disease-modifying therapies where available.

A referral from your primary care provider is required. Referrals are accepted from within New Brunswick for adults of any age with progressive neurocognitive symptoms.

All primary care providers that refer patients to Horizon’s MIND Clinic have received information on how/when to refer patients.

The MIND Clinic team currently consists of two geriatricians, two neurologists, a registered nurse, a neuropsychologist, a social worker, a research manager, and an administrative assistant. There is also an associate neurologist and an associate psychiatrist.

Prior to your first clinic visit you will be contacted by the clinic RN for a telephone pre-assessment to gather information from you and explain what will happen at your clinic visit.

The purpose of your first in-person visit is to allow us to gather as much information as possible to aid in the diagnosis of your condition and the development of your care plan.

This initial visit can take 2-3 hours. You will be asked about the progression of your symptoms, any other health conditions you have, past medical procedures, and similar illnesses in your biological relatives.

The diagnosis may involve brain imaging such as a MRI and/or an electroencephalogram (EEG), a non-invasive test that measures electrical activity in the brain, and laboratory testing, such as blood, urine, and cerebrospinal fluid (the clear liquid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord). The specific purpose, benefits, and risks of each test will be explained to you and your consent will be obtained before any test or intervention occurs.

We will do our best to answer all of your questions and will provide you with a clear explanation of the steps in the diagnostic and care plan.

Prior to your appointment, we suggest starting a symptom diary to record your symptoms and any changes that occur. We suggest that you collect information from your family members about any medical conditions on both sides of your family. We also suggest that you write down your questions and any concerns you have before your visit.

We recommend bringing a family member or a trusted friend to your appointment, one who can help answer questions or take notes if needed.

Please bring:

  • Current medication list
  • List of any past surgeries
  • Family medical history
  • Symptom diary (if you have one)
  • List of questions and concerns

Research is an important part of our work because it can help us better understand these types of conditions, and the effect on patients and their families. At your first visit, you will be asked to consent to have your clinical information included in the clinic research database and your consent will also be requested for screening for future research. With all research, consent is voluntary, and all details will be provided to you so you can make an informed decision.

The MIND Clinic is located within The Moncton Hospital on the main floor of the hospital, located at 135 MacBeath Avenue, Moncton.

Frequently Asked Questions

ABOUT THE MIND CLINIC

Horizon’s Moncton Interdisciplinary Neurodegenerative Diseases (MIND) Clinic is a tertiary care service that assesses, diagnoses, and provides ongoing care/treatment to patients with progressive neurodegenerative diseases to improve their quality of life, and provide family support.

The MIND Clinic has provided an array of care and services to patients identified as part of the cluster of a neurodegenerative disease of unknown origin being investigated by New Brunswick Public Health, but that is not it’s sole purpose

Horizon’s Moncton Interdisciplinary Neurodegenerative Diseases (MIND) Clinic is New Brunswick’s only cross-specialty collaborative clinic for all progressive neurodegenerative diseases affecting adults of any age.

No, every referral to the clinic was not identified as part of the cluster of a neurodegenerative disease of unknown origin.

All patients referred to the clinic have a combination of signs and symptoms that are progressive and difficult to assess, diagnose and care for by a single physician. The types of diseases (“neurodegenerative diseases”) that are assessed are those that cause changes in the brain and spinal cord that lead to progressive problems with mental functioning and physical movements.

The MIND Clinic, located at Horizon’s The Moncton Hospital, has a dedicated team of geriatricians, neurologists, registered nurses, neuropsychologist, social worker, research manager, and an administrative assistant. Associates of neurology and psychiatry also help the team.

DIAGNOSES

The first step is assessment. The MIND Clinic team gathers as much information as possible about the patient’s health history, family health history and symptoms, and orders brain imaging and other laboratory tests to aid in the diagnosis.

The MIND Clinic team continues to provide ongoing care/treatment to patients and provides assistance to patients and families in accessing community resources and supports.

We ask patients and their families not to hesitate to discuss their concerns with staff involved in their, or a loved one’s, care.

But if patients are having difficulty expressing their needs or concerns, they or their family can contact Patient Representative Services. A Patient Representative will listen to patients’ concerns with compassion, in confidence, and in their best interest.

Patients have a right to make decisions about their own health and may seek a second opinion. Patients who wish to seek a second opinion must speak with their primary care provider first and ask them for a referral to another specialist who works in the field.

Note: if a patient wants to obtain a second opinion from a specialist in another province, they may be billed for services. Claims can be submitted to New Brunswick Medicare for consideration, but reimbursement is not guaranteed.

RESEARCH

The MIND Clinic will be conducting research to improve our understanding of neurodegenerative diseases in New Brunswick and will study the ways we identify and treat these conditions so that patients can receive optimum care at all stages of their illness.

The MIND Clinic will collaborate with local, provincial, and national experts on research projects that are applicable to the conditions impacting patients and families associated with the clinic.

All potential research studies will undergo a feasibility assessment by the MIND Clinic, a review by Horizon’s Human Research Protection Program, and then approval will be obtained from Horizon’s Research Ethics Board (REB) and any research partner REB.

With research ethics approvals in place, the informed and voluntary consent of potential research participants will be sought from patients at the MIND Clinic.

THE GNB REPORT AND “THE CLUSTER”

The cluster in New Brunswick was investigated by Public Health New Brunswick – not Horizon’s MIND Clinic team.

Clinical and diagnostic information was reviewed by an oversight committee to determine whether there are alternate diagnoses for the patients who were included in the cluster or whether more investigation is required.

The six neurologists on the oversight committee have concluded that the individuals who were included in this cluster do not represent a neurological syndrome of unknown cause and that no such syndrome exists.

The MIND Clinic team will continue to provide the best possible care and support through this time and well beyond the release of the report.

The clinical care and expertise that our MIND Clinic team provides will continue to focus on each of its patients’, and their families’ individual needs.

Some of these patients have serious known conditions that are impacting their lives in profound ways and several patients need follow-up testing, assessment, and care.

As each case review was completed, the oversight committee sent a letter to the patient’s primary care provider with its conclusions and/or recommendations for further clinical review, and then sent a communication to the patient directly.

All of the patients were asked to follow up with their primary care provider and will continue to have access to a specialist at the MIND Clinic in Moncton.

The clinical information was obtained from several sources including the patients’ primary care physicians and specialists, the Government of New Brunswick electronic health record, and the hospital electronic medical records where patients were assessed, followed, or received treatment as an inpatient or outpatient. This included all the information that could be obtained about the patient’s health history, family health history and symptoms, and ordered brain imaging and other laboratory diagnostic tests.

This information, and the oversight committee members’ clinical experience and expertise, was used to help determine whether there are alternate diagnoses for the patients or whether more investigation would be needed.

This is not unique to this situation. It is not uncommon for referrals to be reviewed and potential diagnoses identified without a patient being seen in person.

Although it was determined by the oversight committee that no such syndrome of unknown cause exists, several patients who were identified as part of this cluster do need follow-up testing, assessment, and care.

The MIND Clinic is continuing to provide this ongoing care and treatment to these patients, as well as assistance to their families in accessing community resources and supports.

The MIND Clinic will continue to be New Brunswick’s only cross-specialty collaborative tertiary clinic for all progressive neurodegenerative diseases affecting adults of any age.

It will continue to provide an array of care and services to patients to improve their quality of life, and family support.

Horizon is prepared to expand the multi-specialty clinic to be able to provide care to even more patients throughout New Brunswick.

The MIND Clinic will also be conducting important research to improve our understanding of neurodegenerative diseases in New Brunswick and will study how we can identify and treat these conditions so that patients can receive optimum care at all stages of their illness.

Media Inquiries

ALL media inquiries should be directed to Horizon Media Relations: media@Horizonnb.ca.

Phone: 1-877-499-1899

Horizon locations offering this service:

Facility Name Address Phone
The Moncton Hospital 135 MacBeath Ave., Moncton, New Brunswick, E1C 6Z8 506-857-5111