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Northern Wisconsin Memory Diagnostic Center

The Northern Wisconsin Memory Diagnostic Center was established in 1998 with assistance from the Wisconsin Alzheimer's Institute and the support of Ministry Health Care. Its mission is to provide a center of excellence in the early diagnosis and treatment of dementia. It serves as a diagnostic service for patients with memory impairment and a resource for information and care management for families dealing with dementia.


How is the Memory Diagnostic Center structured?

  • The Northern Wisconsin Memory Diagnostic Center is available on the first and third Friday afternoons of each month.
  • The first visit to the Center is a two-hour appointment.
  • The return visit, generally about a month after the first visit, is a one-hour appointment. Three- and six-month follow-up appointments are scheduled, as appropriate.
  • The Center provides diagnosis and treatment plans for persons experiencing memory impairment. The Center also provides information and referral for families dealing with dementia.
  • The Center staff includes a physician, gerontological nurse practitioner, cognitive specialist, social worker, and a representative from the Alzheimer's Association, North Central Wisconsin Chapter.
  • The emphasis of the Center is on early diagnosis and treatment of dementia.
  • The Center does not provide primary medical care, but will communicate with the patient's primary physician.

What is the diagnostic process?

There is no one single diagnostic test that can detect if a person has Alzheimer's disease. The Northern Wisconsin Memory Diagnostic Center follows the internationally recognized protocol for making the diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease, related dementias, or reversible causes for memory impairment.


Before the appointment:

  • A screening evaluation will be done to determine whether the Center will be able to meet the patient's and family's needs for diagnostic assessment and recommendations.
  • The patient/family will receive a packet that includes a release of medical records from the primary physician.
  • The patient/family will complete and return the medical history, medical release, and caregiver assessment forms.

At the first two-hour appointment:

  • A history of memory impairment will be obtained from the patient/family caregivers.
  • The patient will receive a neuropsychological examination, depression screening, functional and senory exam and a targeted physical exam.
  • Laboratory testing and radiological evaluation, if appropriate, will be ordered.
  • Appropriate ancillary services, such as occupational therapy, speech therapy, physical therapy and dietician's services will also be scheduled, if indicated.

At the follow-up one-hour appointment:

  • The patient, family and caregivers will be given the diagnosis and treatment plan. A written summary is prepared for the patient and family members.
  • Further information about dementia will be provided to the patient and family.
  • Recommendations for different community services options and future planning will be provided.
  • Patients diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease will be linked with the Alzheimer's Association for further education, support and linkages.
  • Appropriate patient information will be intered in the Wisconsin Alzheimer's Institute database. Patients have the option of refusing to participate in research.

Why go through the Northern Wisconsin Memory Diagnostic Center?

  • The interdisciplinary team members are experts in diagnosing the causes of memory loss, as well as Alzheimer's disease and other dementias.
  • There are effective treatments available today for persons suffering from memory impairment, as well as a number of other medications soon to be released. The Center will provide you with information about the latest research and treatment for memory impairment.
  • The interdisciplinary team provides education on coping with memory loss for both the patient and the family.
  • The team links the family and patient with the Alzheimer's Association and other community resources, as appropriate.



For more information, or to make an appointment, please contact:


Northern Wisconsin Memory Diagnostic Center
Chris Koeppl, MD, Director
Ministry Medical Group-Northshore Clinic
2251 N. Shore Dr.
Rhinelander WI 54501



This clinic is a member of the WAI-Affiliated Dementia Diagnostic Clinic Network. Network clinics differ from other memory clinics in that their staff have received training/observation time and/or guidance from the WAI and the UW Health Memory Assessment Clinic. In addition, clinic network staff attend the WAI's annual conference and bi-annual clinic network meetings, which provide up-to-date research and disease management information. Clinics in the network do remain autonomous, but follow a set of guidelines.

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