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Old 08-07-2022, 08:16 AM
 
2,240 posts, read 1,011,508 times
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I spoke with my 87 y.o. mother on the phone last night. She said she is having memory problems and so made an appointment to see a neurologist. As she is the one in charge of her body and still mentally competent as far as I can tell (although I do think she is having some problems w memory) I just listened without interfering.

What I would have like to have said, but did not say was: And what would be the point of that? As far as I know there is no effective cure or truly effective treatment for age-related memory loss or any of a variety of dementias.

At best, she risks getting an official diagnosis which may come back to bite her in the butt. (She is really really keen on maintaining her independence as long as possible).


What am I not seeing here?
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Old 08-07-2022, 08:55 AM
 
Location: Southwestern, USA
19,811 posts, read 16,883,948 times
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This is my input for what it's worth...my exp...and I digressed a little.

Dementia can bring on other things - depression, frustration and anger ---as in my 87 yr old mom, when in a January I had to 'get' her
and move her here from another state. (A friend and neighbor called me.)
When I saw these signs, in March, I secretly asked the Doc for something...he smiled knowingly, gave me Lexapro for her
VERY soon, not the usual 3 weeks...she was pleasant and happy, appreciative of the mountains and flowers...and peacefully passed away in May,
when her heart just stopped in her sleep, the Coroner. said.

Now I know the afternoon and evening before she passed, she had heartburn, no appetite and an upset tummy.
Sorry, not related to the Dementia. But I will add, she had always been terrified of death...the dementia and Lexapro were a blessing for her little afraid mind, so she drifted peacefully away.
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Old 08-07-2022, 10:34 AM
 
Location: South Florida
925 posts, read 1,530,490 times
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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.
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Old 08-07-2022, 10:50 AM
 
2,240 posts, read 1,011,508 times
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Quote:
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.
Hmm, OK but I have heard that the correlation between the cognitive tests and actual functioning in the real world is not nearly as tightly coupled as one would think. In other words those cognitive tests aren’t really that great anyway.

Also, we don’t need a professional confirming that there is memory loss. It is pretty obvious that my mother has more problems remembering than she used to. She is aware of it. Everyone is aware of it.

As for finding other potential causes. Oh goody! Medical wild goose chases await! Actually, my mother spends half her life at various doctors is always getting tests done, etc. But she has no major health problems. I doubt they are going to unearth some other cause for this.

Yes, of course she is scared. She has pretty obviously struggled with fear her entire life. I just don’t see anything a neurologist is going to tell her a calming her fear. In fact, I am sure that if she is officially diagnosed with dementia, total panic will ensue.

Also, unfortunately getting a diagnosis will not help her know what the future has in store for her. Doctors cannot predict the rate of progression. Also rate of profession is not constant. Also no real treatment or cure. But somehow this is what you are supposed to do?

Also, “ask to be included in the conversation” LMFAO. It is extremely difficult to get my mother NOT to share.

Last edited by Jill_Schramm; 08-07-2022 at 11:09 AM..
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Old 08-07-2022, 12:38 PM
 
773 posts, read 260,671 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jill_Schramm View Post
Also, we don’t need a professional confirming that there is memory loss. It is pretty obvious that my mother has more problems remembering than she used to. She is aware of it. Everyone is aware of it

As for finding other potential causes. Oh goody! Medical wild goose chases await! Actually, my mother spends half her life at various doctors is always getting tests done, etc. But she has no major health problems. I doubt they are going to unearth some other cause for this.

Yes, of course she is scared. She has pretty obviously struggled with fear her entire life. I just don’t see anything a neurologist is going to tell her a calming her fear. In fact, I am sure that if she is officially diagnosed with dementia, total panic will ensue.

Also, unfortunately getting a diagnosis will not help her know what the future has in store for her. Doctors cannot predict the rate of progression. Also rate of profession is not constant. Also no real treatment or cure. But somehow this is what you are supposed to do?
I spent some time trying to narrow it down to understand exactly what type of information it is you're seeking, but I came up with nothing.

Although you did say she has struggled with fear her entire life. That in itself could be an important contributing factor.

Also you said your mother spends half her life at various doctors always getting tests done. It sounds like she suffers from hypochondria.

So we have fear and hypochondria, those two go together very nicely.

As long as she goes to doctors all the time anyway, I'm going to recommend something she may likely have overlooked. Declining kidney function can cause dementia.

https://www.ajmc.com/view/poor-kidne...ntia-incidence

"Poor Kidney Function Significantly Linked With Dementia Incidence"

That's something she may be able to do something about because there are 5 stages of kidney disease and if it is diagnosed at stage 3 she might be able to stop it from progressing or even reverse it. She would need to see a kidney specialist.

Note: The average person is stage 2 by around their late 70s or early 80s.
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Old 08-08-2022, 12:47 AM
 
Location: PRC
6,392 posts, read 5,559,868 times
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The guy at NutritionFacts.org, Dr Greger is good in that his articles and videos always have the science presented behind his advice. I believe I read on his site that turmeric is supposed to be good for dementia and also choline is supposed to be good too but go to that website and do a search. Most of the videos are short and there are transcripts and papers cited on tabs underneath the video.
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Old 08-08-2022, 02:34 AM
 
2,240 posts, read 1,011,508 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LongevitySeeker View Post
I spent some time trying to narrow it down to understand exactly what type of information it is you're seeking, but I came up with nothing.

Although you did say she has struggled with fear her entire life. That in itself could be an important contributing factor.

Also you said your mother spends half her life at various doctors always getting tests done. It sounds like she suffers from hypochondria.

So we have fear and hypochondria, those two go together very nicely.

As long as she goes to doctors all the time anyway, I'm going to recommend something she may likely have overlooked. Declining kidney function can cause dementia.

https://www.ajmc.com/view/poor-kidne...ntia-incidence

"Poor Kidney Function Significantly Linked With Dementia Incidence"

That's something she may be able to do something about because there are 5 stages of kidney disease and if it is diagnosed at stage 3 she might be able to stop it from progressing or even reverse it. She would need to see a kidney specialist.

Note: The average person is stage 2 by around their late 70s or early 80s.
Ok, but you know that there is no treatment for early and middle stage kidney disease, except lowering blood pressure (hers is already low-normal) and adopting a healthy life style (she is already a health nut). Late stage kidney disease would have other symptoms.
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Old 08-08-2022, 02:44 AM
 
2,240 posts, read 1,011,508 times
Reputation: 3801
Quote:
Originally Posted by ocpaul20 View Post
The guy at NutritionFacts.org, Dr Greger is good in that his articles and videos always have the science presented behind his advice. I believe I read on his site that turmeric is supposed to be good for dementia and also choline is supposed to be good too but go to that website and do a search. Most of the videos are short and there are transcripts and papers cited on tabs underneath the video.
Turmeric as a treatment for dementia? LMFAO.
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Old 08-08-2022, 03:31 AM
 
2,077 posts, read 2,735,825 times
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Since you post frequently about your own health questions, why is it difficult for you to understand your mother seeking info on her health issues? Maybe there’s an underlying condition that could improve her memory issues? Maybe gathering information is her way of trying to impose some control on her situation. Maybe she wants confirmation of what she’s observing

Your lack of compassion for your 87 year old mother doesn’t paint you in a flattering light.
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Old 08-08-2022, 03:49 AM
 
Location: interior Alaska
6,321 posts, read 4,857,795 times
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Dementia is just a broad term for impaired ability to think and remember - it's not a disease in and of itself. Some types of dementia are much more severe and rapidly progressing than others, so for purposes of planning for future care needs, it is useful to have a proper diagnosis. There are also medications and therapies that, while they can't reverse dementia or stop it, can help the person think more clearly and retain more function for longer.

There are also a ton of of diseases, disorders, injuries, deficiencies, etc. that can impair mental function, particularly in the elderly, and many of those are eminently treatable, in many cases curable altogether.

Additionally, her doctor might conclude that she's within normal parameters given her age, and set her mind at ease.

Sounds like your mom is making a smart choice to confront the situation head-on and I'm glad you didn't discourage her. How would you feel if she didn't seek out treatment, and it turned out to be something like a thyroid deficiency or a UTI, easily treated to give her back full quality of life?
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