Question about Early Alzheimer's Symptoms

Discussion in 'General Health & Wellness' started by TraciJo67, Oct 8, 2009.

  1. TraciJo67

    TraciJo67 New Member

    I am wondering if anyone can provide a bit of guidance for an issue that we are having with my 62-year-old mother. She has always been something of a hypochondriac and has, in the past, invented illnesses that had no basis in reality (i.e, told us that she had lupus ... diabetes ... cancer, etc when she hadn't been diagnosed). In the past few months, we've noticed some alarming things. Personality changes - extreme anxiety - repeating herself over and over again, a seeming inability to keep track of stories (she tells very different versions, sometimes in the same conversation with the same person). She seems to have a lot of trouble with remembering conversations. She has a lot of anxiety about missing appointments, and she will often call me several times in the same day and ask, over and over again, when her appointment is/what day/etc. She seems well orientated to time and place. She knows who we are, she's still living independently & paying her bills, driving, etc. However, she's recently had a few minor fender benders and narrowly missed accidents because she seems to have some difficulty with reverse/forward gears. She's been to a neurologist and to her primary physician. They are most concerned with her extreme levels of anxiety and have her on Ativan. They've also started her on Aricept. The neurologist has not done any extensive testing -- just the memory/cognitive test (which she failed). We frankly don't know what to believe, given our mother's history of being less than truthful and "sympathy shopping", as it were. We've asked the neurologist to do additional testing - he's recommended a spinal tap (???) and MRI's but my mother is resisting and at this point we can't force her to get testing. The overriding issue is her inability to keep track of conversations and some personality changes we've seen (she is very withdrawn, clearly quite anxious, and this is markedly different than how she always was). I am wondering ... is frequently telling the same stories over and over ... plus not being able to recall recent conversations ... early signs of alzheimers? She doesn't seem to have any other problems -- such as, misplacing things or unable to pay bills/shop for groceries, etc. I would appreciate any input. Thank you very much.
  2. TwoCatDoctors

    TwoCatDoctors New Member

    HERE ARE TWO SITES THAT MIGHT HELP YOU UNDERSTAND. THE FIRST DEFINES ALZHEIMERS AND DEMENTIA SO YOU UNDERSTAND THEM. FOR THE SECOND SITE, I DIDN'T POST IT AND JUST POSTED THE WEB SITE ADDRESS SO YOU COULD GO ON IT AND READ THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN DEMENTIA AND NORMAL AGING.

    FIRST WEB SITE:

    About Alzheimer’s and Dementia

    "What's the difference between dementia and Alzheimer's?"

    We hear that all the time here at the Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research Foundation. It’s a common question, and doctors can sometimes contribute to the confusion. It may be that physicians prefer to use the word “dementia” because the term Alzheimer’s can sound more overwhelming and frightening. But, Alzheimer’s disease and dementia mean two very different things.

    Understanding Dementia

    The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke defines dementia as:

    “…[A] word for a group of symptoms caused by disorders that affect the brain. It is not a specific disease. People with dementia may not be able to think well enough to do normal activities, such as getting dressed or eating. They may lose their ability to solve problems or control their emotions. Their personalities may change. They may become agitated or see things that are not there.”

    Memory loss is a common symptom of dementia. However, memory loss by itself does not mean you have dementia. People with dementia have serious problems with two or more brain functions, such as memory and language.

    Many different diseases can cause dementia, including Alzheimer's disease and stroke. Drugs are available to treat some of these diseases. For a list of other dementias click here.
    FROM: http://www.alzinfo.org/about_alzheimers_and_dementia.asp

    SECOND WEB SITE:

    Now, go to the site below to get more info about dementia and comparison of normal aging to dementia: http://www.helpguide.org/elder/alzheimers_dementias_types.htm