How Does Alzheimers Start?

Discussion in 'Countryside Families' started by ceresone, Nov 26, 2006.

  1. ceresone

    ceresone Well-Known Member Supporter

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    My Husband has cancer of the brain, and has had radation. two different doctors have said he has beginning alzheimers, one doctor said he's having brain seizures. since the doctors can't agree, how is a person supposed to know? our primary doctor, the one that knows us, says its alz. that it can start from any trauma to the brain, and he's certainly had that. the tumor is in the right front lobe (large tumor) where his thought process is located, thusly his radation was there too, as well as the hemotoma he suffered along with this. my SIL 's grandfather had alz. and he says its exactly the same. we have to drive, round trip, 200 miles to other doctors, and this routine of doctors is telling badly on him, should we accept the alz. diagnosis? can you tell me how people act when it starts? he's 67.
     
  2. dennisjp

    dennisjp dennisjp

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    My ex wifes grand mother had it and I feel for you and will keep you in our prayers.
    There are a lot of info you can order about it, but I couldn't tell you where to get it. Your doctor should be able to tell you where to get all the info you could read. It's hard to beleive they have gotten so insisitive to peoples feeling that they haven't already given you some pamplets about it that would leed you to more info.
    I know there is different vitamins and minerals that are suppose to slow it down a lot, but again, I couldn't tell you what they are.
    I will see what I can dig up for you.
    God Bless
    Dennis and family
     

  3. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    I'm so sorry about all his health problems. I know how hard it is.

    One of the simplest tests is to draw a clock face. Make the time show something like 20 till 10 and ask him to tell you what time it is. This ability is lost early in Alz disease.
     
  4. SFM in KY

    SFM in KY Well-Known Member Supporter

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    My experience with and knowledge of Alzheimers is probably somewhat out of date, having been 15 years ago with my father, primarily, but I don't recall I was ever told that Alzheimer's was caused by head/brain trauma.

    I don't know that trauma might not be a contributing cause, but with both people with Alzheimer's in my family ... my grandmother and my father ... it was simply a gradual deterioration of brain function and in neither case was there any kind of trauma or head injury.

    There are some reasons to think that some of the same things that cause a high risk of heart disease may also be a factor in Alzheimer's as well, such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol but they really do not know what causes it for sure, or why some people get it and others never show any sign of it.

    My own feeling would be that the cancer and radiation have interfered with some of your husband's normal brain function and those effects would or could certainly mimic Alzheimer's ... but I don't know that the actual diagnosis would necessarily be Alzheimers.

    With both my father and my grandmother, we noticed a very gradual increase in short term memory loss, eventually getting to the point where they did not remember whether they had eaten a meal or not ... or which meal. and in "forgetfulness". And they would forget things, weren't able to "multi-task" ... if they would start a task, then leave it, they would forget to go back to that first task.

    They would "lose" what happened yesterday or last week ... but remember very clearly things that had happened years ago, eventually to the point that they would "lose" years of their recent past.
     
  5. dennisjp

    dennisjp dennisjp

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  6. largentdepoche

    largentdepoche Well-Known Member

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    I'm so sorry to hear this news :(

    Alz- Dementia can affect each person differently. MIL can drive a car but she can act like a 5 year old with her temper tantrums, it's a strange mix. She has plain old dementia from TIAs.

    Here is a diagnostic link, (it's in .pdf form, you need Adobe Reader).

    http://medschool.slu.edu/agingsuccessfully/pdfsurveys/slumsexam_05.pdf

    http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/medicalnews.php?newsid=55681

    Here are some info links on dementia :

    10 Real Life Strategies for Caregiving

    http://www.strengthforcaring.com/manual/28/140/10-reallife-strategies-for-dementia-caregiving.html

    Dealing with Dementia

    http://www.ncpamd.com/dementia.htm

    Living with Dementia

    http://www.healthinsite.gov.au/topics/Living_with_Dementia

    Dementia

    http://www.hmc.psu.edu/healthinfo/d/dementia.htm

    Plus check your inbox, I'm sending you a PM.

    Katrina
     
  7. countryheart

    countryheart Well-Known Member

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    The only positive way to diagnose alzheimers is to examine the brain after death. Dr.'s like to use that as the diagnosis for any dementia. My mother has the label of alzheimers and she is a little forgetful. Good luck with your husband. I will pray for both of you. Treat his symptons not his diagnosis.

    Countryheart
     
  8. hedgeapple

    hedgeapple Well-Known Member

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    i feel for you. a friend of mine has a grandmother who was thought to have alzheimers, but the doctor said it was a deficiency in some of the B vitamins. you might want to google B vitamins AND dementia. i personally would like to think we can get all our essential vitamins from food (i am uncertain how the body reacts to various synthetic vitamins and i have heard some say that vitamins pills may not all dissolve, etc.) but from what i have read, a lot of agricultural soils are depleted so our foods are maybe not all they were intended to be. keeping you in my thoughts. hope you can remain strong.
     
  9. pasotami

    pasotami Hangin out at the barn!

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    My DM has the beginnings of Alz. - she is now at the point that she will not remember what she is to do that day (ie: cook a covered dish for a lunch meeting with friends). She forgets things she knew how to do and did routinely for many, many years (how to cook from scratch main dishes we ate all our lives). She will remember if one explains the event or action in great detail or at least she says she remembers. She is getting very paranoid about certain people and certain places - she is afraid that someone will take what she has (belongings).
    I do know there is medicine that will slow the process of Alz. but this may not be something for your DH. Only a Dr. would know if it would help or not. I also know there are specific vitamins that help regenerate nerves (not sure if it would help brain but I would think so). I cannot recall what the specific one is when I had the nerve damaged in my arm but I will ask my sister again what it was.
    I will pray for you and your DH. It is sad when quality of life is changed will illness. May you both have great strength.
     
  10. caroline00

    caroline00 Well-Known Member

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    we have a local friend in his 40's. He has an inoperable brain tumor (I dont know the location) he has had chemo and radiation but the diagnosis is rather recent (maybe 4 months or so)

    He is like a child. They either have to stay with him or get a sitter. He doesnt remember us. He wanders, enjoys childrens TV prgramming, gets into things, stays up all night. Thier teenagers somehow have to be able to *babysit* him but still maintain respect for him as thier father. It looks to me like everyone loses. The wife is having to deal with losing her best friend... but this is either a result of the tumor or the treatment...
     
  11. Charleen

    Charleen www.HarperHillFarm.com Supporter

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    This is correct. AD symptoms of dementia are similar to others. There isn't an exact test for AD until after expiration and the brain can be examined. But, there are behavior tests that can be done to determine the extent of the AD. The clock test posted by Cyngbaeld is a good example. Another test is to spell a simple word backward such as (house). Or to count backwards from 100 by 7's. State 3 simple objects, such as tree, apple, piano. Talk about something else for a few minutes and ask them to repeat the 3 objects.

    My mother has AD, she's 73 and was diagnosed at age 68. The first thing we noticed was that she was repeating herself CONSTANTLY. And then we watched her be unable to perform simple everyday tasks such as cooking. I remember her standing in the kitchen with a kettle full of peas that she just took off the stove for supper and she asked us what they were for. We visit the neurologist every 3-6 months and these tests are performed each time. Comparing results from previous visits, we can clearly see the progression. Some tests, my mom will not even attempt anymore. She has lost her concept of time, not just telling time like drawing the clock in the Dr. office, but her seasons are mixed up and she'll wear inappropriate clothing for the weather outside. She'll confuse ages & generations of people. She's become withdrawn, less talkative because she's afraid to make mistakes or repeat herself. She is on Aricept & Nemenda and we can easily observe her behavior. There have been times that she's skipped her pills, and it's noticeable. But these 2 drugs are not right for everyone. Zoloft is another one, but it didn't agree with her.

    The previous posting of websites are wonderful for you. See if you can get involved in a support group in your area, because you'll need assistance too.