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Old 10-28-2018, 03:07 PM
 
Location: Ohio
19,935 posts, read 14,249,679 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nicet4 View Post
Do I have it?
Quote:
Originally Posted by LookingatFL View Post
One of the problems is that it isn't easy to get a dementia diagnosis.
Alzheimer's and Dementia are two totally separate things. You can have Alzheimer's without having Dementia, and you can have Dementia without having Alzheimer's.

Your doctor is not qualified to diagnosis either.

What you need is a neuro-psychologist.

My mother is a neuro-psychologist, and she has 74 years and that's what she does at work two days a week (she's also a clinical psychologist and does individual and couple's counseling the other 3 days).

She has on rare occasions attended Social Security Disability hearings for people with early onset Alzheimer's. These are people ages 45-55 who get it. That's largely genetic. Some of them will make it another 10 years, but many don't. They're usually dead before age 60.

My grandmother did fine the first 98 years, but a couple months after her 98th birthday she started showing signs of Dementia, and it came on pretty fast. She died four days before her 99th birthday.

The value of testing with a neuro-psychologist is that it creates a baseline, so that 5, 10, 15 or 20 years from now when you have another test, you can make comparisons and see the extent of progression or damage.

None of the tests last more than an hour, and they are neither painful nor invasive, so you're not stuck with needles, no drugs are used and no prep is necessary.

My mother sees a lot more high school kids, plus collegiate athletes than in the past. I think that has to do with concussion protocols used in sports now.

Those tests diagnose a variety of issues like Alzheimer's, Dementia, Parkinson's, Huntington's, Agnosia, Asphasia, strokes, concussions and other traumatic brain injuries. If stroke affected speech, you can tell whether someone will or will not regain speech, and if they can, how many months of speech therapy will be required, or for mobility issues, whether they'll regain full or partial use of their limbs, or no use at all, and how many months of physical and occupational therapy are necessary to restore them.

Not everyone with Dementia actually has Dementia, what they actually have is mini-strokes.

These tests can differentiate.

Mini-strokes can affect almost any area of the brain, and they can affect that area of the brain, leading people to believe they have Dementia (or Alzheimer's), when in fact they don't. If you're having mini-strokes, you need to know, so you can take the necessary medication to help prevent future mini-strokes, or a full-on stroke.
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Old 10-28-2018, 03:29 PM
 
Location: Eastern Tennessee
2,536 posts, read 1,831,034 times
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Remember folks: forgetting where you put the house key is not necessarily a problem. Standing at your door with the key in your hand and not knowing how to get in is.

There is a long continuum of cognitive decline and most of us are somewhere on the arc. Lord knows I am.

If you have concerns talk to a professional (as stated above).

Sorry OP -- almost forgot (not joking) we are definitely NOT prepared for the number of dementia patients soon to need help.
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Old 10-28-2018, 04:16 PM
 
6,322 posts, read 3,581,874 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LookingatFL View Post
He has taken that test. The doctors aren't seeing him when the confusion hits. But it is very evident when it does and I have told them this too. His sister was the same way and her husband went through the same thing with the doctors that I am going through now.
That's the deal. It seems to come and go. My parents were missing their doctor and dental appointments and not answering the door for their daily lunch delivery and then wondering why they weren't getting their lunch. Their garbage was piled to the ceiling on the back porch.

But because the day the county nurse visited they could tell her who the president was, what day it was and where they were they weren't considered impaired. I thought, "What's more important, being able to meet your daily needs or knowing if it's Wednesday?"

It is a painful and frustrating time to walk this path with them. See if you can find a Alzheimer's caregivers support group near you. They were invaluable to me with their ideas for how to cope.
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Old 10-28-2018, 05:37 PM
 
1,227 posts, read 1,261,178 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lodestar View Post
That's the deal. It seems to come and go. My parents were missing their doctor and dental appointments and not answering the door for their daily lunch delivery and then wondering why they weren't getting their lunch. Their garbage was piled to the ceiling on the back porch.

But because the day the county nurse visited they could tell her who the president was, what day it was and where they were they weren't considered impaired. I thought, "What's more important, being able to meet your daily needs or knowing if it's Wednesday?"

It is a painful and frustrating time to walk this path with them. See if you can find a Alzheimer's caregivers support group near you. They were invaluable to me with their ideas for how to cope.
Thank you, Lodestar. It is always good to know there are others dealing with this too who understand.
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Old 10-28-2018, 05:55 PM
 
4,069 posts, read 3,100,731 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by in_newengland View Post
I've been doing some reading ever since my cousin was diagnosed this past spring and mostly it says it's 1/3 genetic, 1/3 diet, 1/3 environmental. I THINK it said 1/3 diet.

Anyway, I'm all for prevention, if possible. More fresh vegetables, less junk food that contains, well, junk. The junk in that kind of food isn't even food so who knows what it does to the brain? Air pollution, household chemicals. I know I never used to pay much attention when I was younger to warnings on products like the paint stripper I would use when refinishing a table, for instance. Warning! Make sure the room is well ventilated! Well, I didn't bother, just went ahead and used the products.

Maybe you can get away with that when you are younger, and maybe if you just do it a few times, and maybe you'll get lucky and just get away with it no matter what! Lucky for me that I got sick from a lot of stuff so I couldn't use it anymore.

And people on this forum alerted us to the risks to older people of some prescription drugs. You can google that and it's probably a good idea because I don't think a lot of drs are aware. My cousin was put on a too high dose of neurontin when she was 70. By the time a specialist called her pcp about it, my cousin didn't know one day from the next! Her memory came right back when they took her off the very high dose but she was never the same after that. It was all downhill.

The say some of the cholesterol drugs too. I feel like making my own list in case someone else is in charge of me and the drs don't know enough. If I am in the hospital and the drs put me on some prescription drug, I'd like my spouse or relative to check my list and get me off that drug. Better still, never put me on that drug in the first place because I think once it starts, there's no turning back. It is definitely scary.

https://www.aarp.org/health/drugs-su...mory-loss.html
I'd like to believe 100% that dementia and Alzheimer's disease are caused by prescription drugs and chemicals in processed food because I can voluntarily avoid those things. I sometimes wonder if government bureaucrats consider people getting dementia at 75 or 80 to be a justifiable price to pay for the economic vitality of the prescription drug and processed food industries which impacts regulatory decisions?
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Old 10-28-2018, 08:12 PM
 
11,142 posts, read 8,551,921 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brava4 View Post
What is a memory care plan??
How you plan on managing everything around a dementia or Alzheimer's diagnosis. A regular schedule of cognitive assessments, how will you manage until you can't take care of yourself, having arrangements in place for placement in a memory care facility, etc.

I plan on working this all out with my geriatric care manager.
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Old 10-28-2018, 09:38 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
17,890 posts, read 54,220,831 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AtkinsonDan View Post
I'd like to believe 100% that dementia and Alzheimer's disease are caused by prescription drugs and chemicals in processed food because I can voluntarily avoid those things. I sometimes wonder if government bureaucrats consider people getting dementia at 75 or 80 to be a justifiable price to pay for the economic vitality of the prescription drug and processed food industries which impacts regulatory decisions?
There seems to be enough of a correlation of caregivers of Alzheimer pts. getting Az themselves that there are questions being asked if it may have a viral component. At this point, it is speculation only.

For slight memory issues my wife and I once tried a variety of the OTC mind enhancers. One worked with her, and when it went off market we replicated the ingredient list and discovered the active component was the herb eyebright. She continued with that, and other than having difficulty with spreadsheets was fully aware until the day she died.
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Old 10-28-2018, 11:43 PM
 
Location: Australia
912 posts, read 333,968 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AtkinsonDan View Post
I'd like to believe 100% that dementia and Alzheimer's disease are caused by prescription drugs and chemicals in processed food because I can voluntarily avoid those things. I sometimes wonder if government bureaucrats consider people getting dementia at 75 or 80 to be a justifiable price to pay for the economic vitality of the prescription drug and processed food industries which impacts regulatory decisions?
I am sure that people developed dementia before prescription drugs and processed food were so prevalent. My grandmother certainly did. I have a cousin who died recently, aged 67, from early onset Alzheimer's. Her mother, grandmother and great- grandmother all suffered from it and I can assure you that in the great-grandmother's day in this country, food was rarely processed and people just took an aspirin once in a while. There is obviously, in her instance, a strong genetic link.

On the matter of definitions, at least in Australia, dementia is a term which covers a number of memeory loss conditions and one of these is Alzheimer's. But it is believed that many people can suffer from more than one type of condition.


Dementia is believed to be more prevalent as people live so much longer than in the past. Two of my grandparents died at around 70 and that was not regarded as dying early in those days. We will never know whether they would have developed dementia if they had lived longer.
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Old 10-29-2018, 03:21 AM
 
6,885 posts, read 7,292,401 times
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Quote:
On the matter of definitions, at least in Australia, dementia is a term which covers a number of memeory loss conditions and one of these is Alzheimer's.
Same in the U.S.
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Old 10-29-2018, 06:24 AM
 
Location: Loudon, TN
5,789 posts, read 4,846,494 times
Reputation: 19489
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lodestar View Post
That's the deal. It seems to come and go. My parents were missing their doctor and dental appointments and not answering the door for their daily lunch delivery and then wondering why they weren't getting their lunch. Their garbage was piled to the ceiling on the back porch.

But because the day the county nurse visited they could tell her who the president was, what day it was and where they were they weren't considered impaired. I thought, "What's more important, being able to meet your daily needs or knowing if it's Wednesday?"

It is a painful and frustrating time to walk this path with them. See if you can find a Alzheimer's caregivers support group near you. They were invaluable to me with their ideas for how to cope.
Another important thing that can happen to cause TEMPORARY dementia-like symptoms, and this sounds weird, is a urinary tract infection. You need to go with them to their doctor appointment, and tell the doctor that they are having what seems like transient memory loss. They can easily take a urinalysis and check for a UTI, and also as someone else mentioned, check their medication list.

Also different types of dementia have somewhat differing symptoms, and different progression, but there's a lot of overlap. Some types can be treated to slow the progression, so it's important to have a correct diagnosis to get the proper treatment, if there is one. Here'a a very brief description of the differences between two major types, there are more types too. https://www.verywellhealth.com/the-d...dementia-98750

My MIL, who had Alzheimers, had times when she was pretty lucid, but other days she thought she was in a place from her past, or she would ask where her brother was years after he died, etc. In the beginning it was just little things, like repeating the same question multiple times that we noticed. They can remember things LONG past, but not the recent past, because they can't form NEW memories., but they can find the OLD memories. It progressed slowly over time until it affected almost every aspect of her life.

Last edited by TheShadow; 10-29-2018 at 06:33 AM..
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