Cognitive Disorders Center

Cognitive Disorders Center

The UT Health Austin Cognitive Disorders Center at the Mulva Clinic for the Neurosciences serves patients and families who are living with neurodegenerative conditions that impact memory, behavior, and other cognitive functions. Our mission is to put patients and their loved ones at the center and to guide them through the diagnostic process and care journey. We want to help you live your best life, have hope and know that you are not alone.

Conditions We Treat


We provide diagnostic evaluation and evidence-based treatments for adults (usually older) with memory concerns, mild cognitive impairment, Alzheimer disease, vascular dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies, frontotemporal dementia, primary progressive aphasia, and related disorders.

Approach to Care


We use a team-based approach, with you and your loved ones as the most important team members. Additional team members include specialists from neurology, geriatric psychiatry, neuropsychology, nursing, clinical social work and speech-language pathology. One of our goals is to help determine what is causing the changes you are experiencing. Receiving an accurate diagnosis early in the disease process will allow you to make lifestyle changes, take advantage of available treatments, enroll in research opportunities, and have more time to plan for the future.

We care for your social, spiritual and psychological health, in addition to your physical health. To teach you how to manage memory changes we offer counseling and cognitive-communication therapy as well as medications and medical care. We support you and your loved ones by providing information about the disease, teaching practical coping strategies, and assisting in future planning. We want to help build the confidence you need to handle new challenges and changes. No one should face dementia alone; we will be with you every step of the way.

Making an Appointment


  • A referral is required from a health care professional. If you need assistance with getting a referral, please call us at 1-833-UT-CARES and we will be happy to help you.
  • Please complete and use our form to request your medical records from your primary care physician, neurologist or other referring clinician. The medical records should include diagnostic reports, lab results, clinical notes, and brain imaging (MRI, CT scan). Please have them faxed to 512-495-5680, Attention: Cognitive Disorders Center
  • We strongly encourage all of our patients to bring a close family member or friend to the appointment. It is very helpful to us to meet with you and someone who knows you well to best understand your situation.

Prepare for your Appointment


  • Prepare in advance. Confirm that your referring doctor has sent us your medical records. Please arrive 30 minutes early to fill out registration, patient privacy, and health forms.
  • Bring a list of your current medications, reading glasses, and hearing aids, if needed.
  • We care about what you think. Mention your most important concerns early in the visit. Bring a list of questions and concerns with you to the appointment. Ask for clarification if you are unsure about something.
  • Feel free to take notes. We will also provide you with instructions and a written care plan after your visit.

Please visit the UT Health Austin Preparing for your Appointment page for information about parking and transportation, interpretation services and where you can grab a snack or lunch.

What to Expect at Your Appointment


When you visit UT Health Austin Cognitive Disorders Center, we want your visit to be worry-free. If you have questions once you arrive, look for our Concierge staff in the teal shirts near the elevators on each floor.

We typically schedule multiple visits to allow your care team enough time to provide a comprehensive evaluation and create a person-centered treatment plan. The first visit will last at least 2 hours. You will meet with two to three team members together who will listen to your concerns and ask questions about your health status. While a social work counselor meets with your family or friend, we will conduct a neurologic exam to assess your strength, coordination and reflexes and administer a memory screening test. You may also undergo more in-depth assessment of memory and thinking at the first visit.

It is common to order diagnostic testing that best fits your situation, such as:

  • Brain imaging (e.g., CT, MRI or PET scan) to identify possible causes of memory problems.
  • Blood tests to look for other causes of memory problems such as low thyroid, vitamin deficiency or infection.
  • Neuropsychological testing to assess your memory, attention, mood, language, problem solving and visuospatial abilities. This testing can sometimes be scheduled on the same day as your initial visit or on another day depending on your insurance and preference.

At your feedback visit, a physician and social work counselor will meet with you and your family members to review your test results and provide a diagnosis and treatment plan. This visit typically lasts an hour, and we encourage you to come prepared with questions and ready to take notes. Your treatment plan will commonly include medications, family or individual counseling, cognitive-communication therapy, and connections with community resources.

Follow-up visits are usually conducted by our advanced practice nurse and a social work counselor as needed. Patients and families are encouraged to contact us with questions in between visits via the patient portal or nurse line at 1-833-882-2737. We are happy to work with your primary care provider to coordinate care.

Support for Families and Caregivers


Providing care for a person with dementia can be challenging both physically and emotionally. It is completely normal to have questions about long-term care, disease progression, and changes in family roles. We are here to support you by providing Counseling services, as well as education on the stages of dementia and teaching new coping strategies. We also have relationships with agencies in the community that have support groups, day programs, driving evaluations, and more. We are happy to connect you with appropriate resources and provide recommendations for next steps.