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Old 08-11-2022, 07:56 AM
2,254 posts, read 1,021,307 times
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Originally Posted by SimplySagacious View Post
He should have discussed nutrition as well, but many don't.

The medical wild goose chase you were worried about didn't happen so that is a good thing, yes?
You’re right. I’m very glad there was no medical wild goose chase … as I had feared.

For all I know he did discuss nutrition. But if he did, he probably realized that there was no low-hanging fruit there as my mother has always been extremely serious about nutrition as well as supplementation. I have had to ask her to stop telling me that she eats not one, but two different vegetables at every meal, one raw and one cooked. Mom: “We have a list on our refrigerator called “RAW,” and it lists all the raw vegetables we can eat. And we have one raw and one cooked at every meal!” Me: “Yay! Yes, you’ve told me that … many times.”

She also worships at the alter of the Mediterranean diet, although she doesn’t drink any alcohol, so no red wine. But lots of salmon, veggies, fruit, whole grains, etc. And no processed foods. And no dessert or sweets, unless it involves dark chocolate. Etc., etc., etc. etc.,

One thing I am realizing though and it’s something I just don’t get intuitively, is that my Mother absolutely loves going to the doctor. In fact, I think it stands in for her as a kind of social life. She even tells me in great detail about her doctors … and the little presents she brings them (!) and how they supposedly give her special treatment (!). I told her once that the last thing you want from a doctor is for them to give you special treatment … instead of treating you just like they would anyone else (in your medical circumstances).
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Old 08-11-2022, 11:49 AM
15,611 posts, read 10,653,510 times
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Originally Posted by Jill_Schramm View Post
Your friend didn’t progress for 8 years on Donepezil? Color me skeptical.

First, the course of dementia is highly individual and non-linear. There is no way of knowing that Donepezil was actually responsible for your friend’s mother’s supposed non-progression of her dementia. The only way to know for sure is to have your friend’s mother live twice —- and take Donepezil during one life and not take it during the other, which is of course impossible.

Second, diagnosing dementia is not an exact science. Maybe she didn’t have dementia in the first place?

Third, you say she “never progressed and knew him, his sisters …” I totally believe that she knew him and his sisters. I think your friend would be a good judge of that. But how does he know she “never progressed?” Never, at all? Hmmm. Seems like an exaggeration. Especially if she really did have dementia.

Fourth, Donepezil is not a disease-modifying drug. It only helps control symptoms. in studies, Donepezil has never been shown to have more than a short-term minimal to moderate effect on symptoms.

Fifth, Donepezil’s numbers needed to treat are 12. This means, according the studies I read (and that I may link later) that if 12 people take Donepezil, one of them will be helped by the drug. In the studies I looked at “helped” was defined quite minimally, like doing slightly better on some test taken in a controlled setting a few months in a row.

At the same time, its numbers needed to harm are 16. This means that for every 16 people on Donepezil, 1 was harmed by it. However, drug research being what it is (I.e. far from unbiased), “harm” was defined rather maximally as side effects so bad that treatment needed to be discontinued.

In conclusion, you make it sound like Donepezil is some miracle drug. But, no, it’s not.

Also, you say “it’s always worth seeing the doctor.” One thing I have noticed about your posts is that you love to make absolute, unqualified statements.

I can safely say that no, it is not always worth seeing a doctor. Not unless you want to spend literally your entire life in a doctors office. But now I recall that in a previous post, you said you would actually be willing to do that — spend your every waking moment in a doctor’s office — if that would prevent you from getting a certain disease. Well, not many people would agree with that.

Besides, the truth is that health care resources are not infinite. Is it really fair that someone with good insurance gets to see a doctor 3 times a week …. just to put their mind “at ease” (until the next day lol) while others without insurance have no access?

Finally, you don’t like my posts because they contain too msny words. Hope I didn’t just ruin your day.

P.S. As I wrote above, my mother did see the neurologist and he diagnosed her with age-related cognitive decline, not dementia. Not that that is going to make her any more functional in her life since neither condition has a cure or effective treatment.

I didn't read your long post other than a few key points

My friend is a PhD pharmacist with a masters in mental health. His specialty is dementia. I think that he knew what he was talking about

His mother's case was an outlier, but it happened. She did not progress at all from the start of Donepizil. When she died, his family requested an autopsy. She had full blown Alzheimer's!

But, the point is it worked! This is rare, the drug usually buys just a little time. That ts what you should want for your mother. Strides are being made every day in Alzheimer's and other dementia research

Why are you so afraid to take your mother to a specialist? Age related

And, FWIIW, age related cognitive decline IS a form of dementia. Not all neurologists are specialists in dementia and Alzheimer's

The worst day of my life was when my mother didn't know who I was. She never knew any of us for almost 10 tears after that. I'd take her to 100 doctors if it were possible instead of just complaining about everything
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Old 08-11-2022, 12:42 PM
2,254 posts, read 1,021,307 times
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Originally Posted by phoebesmom View Post
Do you have any siblings who want to help your mom? That might be a good solution.
My sister is my mother’s unofficial caregiver or caregiver-to-be. She is significantly more “saintly” than I am and also has always been much closer to my mother in terms of general interests (if not personality, where they are more complimentary).

Thus far, my sister has attempted to help by:

1) Listening to my mother talk (at her) on the phone for 1.5 hours every single evening. She made me swear to never tell my mother that she plays games on her iPhone to pass the time while my mother essentially babbles about herself. This has been going on for the last five years. She has always simply talked about herself nonstop, but at least she used to make sense.

2) Visiting every few months to attempt to help my mother get a handle on her life. (My mother is currently living with her second husband, my stepfather, who is 92, very hard of hearing with very low vision, but otherwise healthy and relatively vigorous for his age).

The main problems my mother faces are that she is a low level hoarder who lives in a huge home to which she is extremely attached. She simply cannot keep up with the maintenance or reduce the clutter (apparently). Plus the property taxes are eating away at her income and savings ($25,000 a year in property taxes alone, not sure about the insurance).

She is also very attached to doing absolutely everything in exactly the right way (according to her). So, when she cooks she needs to find exactly the right fork among her hundreds of forks (to test the doneness of the beets), exactly the right bowl among her hundreds of bowls (to serve the cucumber salad), exactly the right pitcher into which she can pour the milk, so she can carry the milk to the table to pour into their cereal (instead of simply filling their cereals bowls directly from the milk carton like 99.9% of the population) and on and on. When she buys strawberries, she can’t just pick a carton. Or flip the carton over and see if the berries are good on the bottom, she has to weigh a whole bunch of cartons to find the heaviest one. And on and on. And on and on. The result is that she is having lots and lots of problems with her version of the “activities of daily life.” And, of course, all this is compounded by her significant problems with memory and executive function.

However, she refuses to actually accept help from my sister who basically just wastes her weekend and then goes home again with not much gained.

When I visited her this past May (for the first time in five years), I was routinely SCREAMED and insulted at for attempting to help (for example by washing the dirty dishes that were piled up everywhere in her kitchen). I know she cares tremendously about not putting certain special dishes in the dishwasher, so my husband and I erred on the side of caution by hand washing everything we weren’t sure about. But of course she SCREAMED at us for daring to handwash something that could have just gone in the dishwasher. I mean you literally cannot win short of developing mind-reading capabilities. Because you get insulted for even asking about anything.

I eventually gave up attempting to help her cook meals, although she definitely needed help as it took her (and I am not exaggerating, sadly) over 4 hours to cook a very basic meal (something that I could have made in 20 minutes). She would start making dinner at 6:30pm and finally served it at 11pm.

Anyway, that is the situation. My dear sister attempting to deal with her 87 y.o. obsessive-compulsive narcissist Mom who is definitely losing it …

I don’t want to turn this into a caregiving thread, however, since I have definitely sworn off caregiving (at least for her. I would be extremely willing to be my husband’s caregiver or my sister’s but then again they have both changed my life in a positive way, so I would be giving back).
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Old 08-11-2022, 02:59 PM
17,710 posts, read 6,310,669 times
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Originally Posted by Dragonmam View Post
You're not seeing the importance of ruling things out that are fixable, e.g., medication that could be affecting memory, TIA's, sleep disfunction, malnutrition, hearing loss, etc...

You're not seeing the importance for all of us in having a baseline cognitive evaluation done before real issues start to manifest. That is really the only way to objectively know if you are experiencing a significant decline in cognitive function from year to year.

It is also very important to have already had one should you experience a sudden health emergency. At advanced age, a health crisis can do a number on your cognitive ability but, since people vary so much in how they age, it can be hard to convince a doctor that the patient they are looking at has had a sudden enormous setback. Tests showing a sudden decline are an objective measure that is harder to ignore.

I think you're also missing the concern your mom has for herself. She's scared. She is wondering if this is normal aging or dementia and whether she needs to prepare herself and make her own decisions while she can.

I would be relieved and grateful that she is doing this voluntarily and be very supportive, and ask to be included in the conversation when she gets her results.
She might have something easily fixable like a UTI?
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Old 08-11-2022, 03:15 PM
927 posts, read 444,406 times
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She might be fine. Ask her what she forgot. Did she forget if there were eggs in the fridge or did she forget her middle name? Older people sometimes forget things. I sometimes forget things and apparently a lot of young people do too. There is a website called "Where's Baby.org" to remind people that their child is in the car. I hope she turns out to be fine.
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Old 08-11-2022, 04:31 PM
Location: Mission District, San Francisco
5,128 posts, read 3,198,170 times
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I'm sorry she and you are having to deal with this.

There's speculation that Viagra (yes, that one) can help Alzheimer's, although the only direct evidence is for prevention, treatment hasn't been studied. (article)

Bacopa monnieri (an herb that can be bought as pills, no prescription) can slow the progression of dementia and age-related cognitive decline. (meta-analysis)

Choline (the supplement) can also slow progression. (article)
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Old 08-11-2022, 05:30 PM
Location: equator
9,923 posts, read 4,909,177 times
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Originally Posted by mojo101 View Post
Western medical researchers went from village to village in India and did not find any Alzheimer elderly,they think it has to do with tumeric since they use it in their cooking daily.
Anecdotally, there doesn't seem to be any discernable dementia here either. Oldsters are cared for in the kids' homes. I asked locals about that and they didn't seem to relate to the dementia issue.

Who knows what it is. Rice, plantains, Scads of social life? Surrounded by loving family?

OP, forget the mean girls on here. I understand what you're saying. Guido always has good advice, and what he says makes sense.

Thanks for being a concerned "child".

Medical issues without a cure, I'd rather not know either.
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