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Advice Please, Are Brain CT Scans reliable in showing Dementia?

Discussion in 'Memory concerns and seeking a diagnosis' started by valleygirl, May 7, 2015.

  1. valleygirl

    valleygirl Registered User

    Apr 7, 2015
    9
    I posted a little while back. My husband's behaviour has changed in that he rarely leaves the house, is constantly either watching or on the internet regards horse racing, is verbally aggressive and has physically barged both my son and I. He is not interested in anything else and shows no empathy. He talks about the past a lot and of horse racing. I could go on but to cut a long story short he rang the DRS for the results of his CT Brain Scan today and they came back as satisfactory, no further action required. I had wrote to his GP and this is how he was initially referred for the CT Brain Scan. I am at a loss to what his behaviour (it is this that worry's me more than the memory loss) down to and I am really asking are the CT Scans reliable in showing Dementia? Of course he thinks there is now nothing wrong with him and his behaviour is not normal. Before all this he was a successful businessman and very active in politics.
     
  2. Saffie

    Saffie Registered User

    Mar 26, 2011
    22,499
    Female
    Near Southampton
    The problem is that these scans do not necessarily show up dementia caused by Alxheimer's so I am a bit puzzled by the 'no further action required'. Could you go with your husband to see his GP?
     
  3. LYN T

    LYN T Registered User

    Aug 30, 2012
    6,962
    Brixham Devon
    Yes-not a good thing to take no further action. Also my OH's Dementia did show up on a CT scan but the Neurologist missed the VERY obvious signs of brain damage. Years later a Consultant looked at the same scan and it was then that I was told that Pete HAD Dementia for several years. Therefore, I would insist on having follow up appointments and even a second opinion on the CT scan.

    Take care

    Lyn T
     
  4. valleygirl

    valleygirl Registered User

    Apr 7, 2015
    9
    He like a lot of men will not go to the doctors at the best of times. The GP got to see him when he was down for routine bloods. My husband does not know I wrote to his GP and the GP told a white lie and said he should have received a brain scan when he was diagnosed with sleep apnea in 2012 so he would refer him now. So he had the CT Brain Scan and the result was satisfactory - no further action required. My husband will now not go to the GP because there is nothing wrong with him (well he really does think nothing is wrong). I am struggling so much and feel so down - I know it sounds pathetic. My 15 year old son who is on the autistic spectrum is finding this hard too and getting withdrawn he finds socialising difficult but now he says he does not want any friends to the house because he does not know how his father will be. He lost it with him last week when I was out because my son changed a TV channel when he got home from school even though he was in a different room and was not watching TV. He told my son he should stay in his bedroom and got verbally aggressive. So now I cannot leave him on his own. I am actually thinking of making an appointment to see the GP as we are both at the same practise. I was so sure this CT Brain Scan would show something and we would ALL get some help but now I don't know what to do. I honestly feel like walking and not turning back.
     
  5. valleygirl

    valleygirl Registered User

    Apr 7, 2015
    9
    I will go and see the GP even if I have to go alone. Is it worth pushing for an MRI Scan are these better for diagnosing dementia than CT Scans? The GP thought vascular dementia before he had the scan.
     
  6. LYN T

    LYN T Registered User

    Aug 30, 2012
    6,962
    Brixham Devon
    Pete only had a CT scan so I'm not sure if a MRI scan is better. I've read on here that A Spect Scan is the best one-I hope someone will be along soon to give you some advice. Try to keep a diary of incidents to show the GP-even if you think they are trivial.

    Take care

    Lyn T XX
     
  7. NanLorac

    NanLorac Registered User

    May 14, 2012
    686
    Female
    Scotland
    My husbands Alzheimer's did not show up on a CT scan but showed up on a SPECT scan 6 months later. Might be worth asking if you can get the SPECT scan done.

    Take care x
     
  8. CeliaThePoet

    CeliaThePoet Registered User

    Dec 7, 2013
    614
    Buffalo, NY, USA
    Are you sure your husband's report of the doctor's analysis is correct? I do not think I would trust it. Could you call and speak to the GP yourself?
     
  9. nitram

    nitram Registered User

    Apr 6, 2011
    19,277
    Male
    North Manchester
    Assuming blood test have not indicated any reason for his personality change I would forget about the interpretation of the scan for the time being and try to arrange a referral to the adult mental health team (or whatever it is called in your area).
     
  10. stanleypj

    stanleypj Registered User

    Dec 8, 2011
    10,684
    North West
    At various points, Sue had CAT, MRI and Spect scans. None of them proved conclusive in terms of a specific diagnosis, yet by the time of the Spect scan she had had dementia for several years.

    We frequently see on here that a conclusive diagnosis is only possible post mortem. Even then the Nun Study is worth reading up on:

    Perhaps the single most important conclusion from the study is that Alzheimer disease is not straight forward. In several cases, pathology studies of brain tissue from the deceased nuns did not correlate with their performance on cognitive function tests. Sometimes the pathologist would score a brain as having signs of extremely advanced AD, only to learn later that the nun herself scored extremely well on all cognitive tests. Other times a brain would show only slight damage associated with AD, and the nun was characterized as exhibiting the signs of advanced cognitive decline and dementia.

    (Alzheimer Disease and the “Nun Study”
    May 4, 2009 by Michele Arduengo)
     
  11. Raggedrobin

    Raggedrobin Registered User

    Jan 20, 2014
    1,427
    Hi, I think the important thing here not the results of the scan but that the GP needs to being looking at all reasons for personality change and if the scan shows nothing, he still needs to be referred to a specialist for his symptoms. Even if he doesn't have dementia, to be so changed indicates some sort of illness. I would definitely go and see his GP, without letting your husband know, and have all details of the changes you have seen listed for him (even if you did this before). In a situation like this you just have to act on his behalf, I had to do this for my mother and it took me several trips to the GPs before they finally took it seriously. A face to face chat willl help the communication with the GP and indeed, they can think up further excuses to assess him. Let us know how you get on.
     
  12. daisydi

    daisydi Registered User

    Feb 25, 2015
    255
    Norfolk
    Just beware that the GP may not speak to you about your husband which is what happened with my mum. I was frantic and said if something was not done I would have a nervous breakdown. They did finally come to see my mum at home but it was very very difficult to get them to agree to this and then once again they rely on results from certain tests to give a diagnosis which involved my mum being persuaded to go for appointments which she didnt want. It is so so difficult.
     
  13. valleygirl

    valleygirl Registered User

    Apr 7, 2015
    9
    Thank you all for your comments it's helped to come on TP. I will definitely go the GP and make a fuss sometimes it's like this isn't it, you have to make a noise to get heard. I know the GP will not discuss the result of the scan because he has told me my husband has mental capacity and therefore he cannot discuss due to patient confidentiality. I know they took blood off him for his diabetic review but not sure if other things were checked again the GP would not discuss. It's the "no further action" bit that's got me because it's almost like saying there's nothing wrong. I poured out my heart in my letter to our GP and listed all the odd things and change in personality. When the GP rang me he was sympathetic and actually asked if we felt in danger and that no-one should be living like this with regards to the verbal/physical aggression. He said he thought vascular if not mixed dementia and said that what I had written was comprehensive. I think I am in shock because I was so sure the scan would show something and there would be a way forward and support whereas now I feel I have gone backwards and failed in my role as a wife and mother because my husband is ill (I believe) and not getting support/treatment and my son is getting frustrated and withdrawn.
     
  14. trigger

    trigger Account on hold

    Aug 25, 2009
    138
    Plymstock Devon
    PET (Positron Emission Tomography): A type of nuclear medicine scanning that involves capturing cross-sectional images of the brain, much like CT scanning. The images that are created are functional rather than the structural images of CT and MRI. Functional images capture how various parts of the brain are working, which makes it a diagnostic tool for neurodegenerative conditions such as FTD. Areas of the frontal or temporal lobes that are not as active as they should be may indicate FTD.

    The PET scan involves the injection of a radioisotope, or tracer, into a hand or arm vein. The tracer emits positrons, which collide with electrons, or negatively charged particles, producing gamma rays which are similar to X-rays. These gamma rays are detected by a ring-shaped PET scanner and analyzed by a computer to form an image of brain metabolism. These tests are very expensive and not covered by all insurance policies. Check with your insurance provider to see what tests are covered or if pre-approval is needed.

    SPECT (Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography): A type of nuclear medicine scanning that is very similar to PET. SPECT measures blood flow and activity levels in the brain, which make it a diagnostic tool for identifying behavioral and cognitive problems in persons with neurodegenerative conditions such as FTD.
     
  15. Raggedrobin

    Raggedrobin Registered User

    Jan 20, 2014
    1,427
    if you have a different GP, but at the same surgery, for yourself, it might also be worth you explaining what is wrong to your own GP. It will be affecting your health and if your husband's GP isn't being that helpful, try another one. I had to go through 3 GPs at Mum's surgery before they really listened to what I was saying about her.

    I think GPs refusing to discuss patients seems to vary greatly. Nobody ever worried about confidentiality when I talked about my Mum, they did use common sense on that one. it is hard for GPs in that they have to tread carefully over confidentiality but indeed I think the sensible ones are more flexible about it.

    From what you have said it sounds as if the GP is putting too much faith in the scan and not the evidence you are providing. That must be incredibly frustrating and with all that going on at home, very wearing. But using that last bit of energy to get this sorted out is essential. One way of thinking about it, is that if he is properly diagnosed he could be given drugs that help his mood, and drugs that may marginally delay the disease's progress, so it really is vital to be heard. Good luck, we are with you, so many of us have experienced similar battles on here for diagnosis.
     
  16. toefinder

    toefinder Registered User

    Mar 5, 2012
    4
    I would not presume this is a form of dementia. He obviously need to be assessed. Going to the Gp again is a great idea and a home visit needs to be done if he continues to refuse.
    Mental health issues also need to be excluded as changes in behaviour can also be influences by this. I think it is important you son is protected as well as your husband getting the correct diagnosis. I hope you get the support and help from yourGP you deserve.
     
  17. cragmaid

    cragmaid Registered User

    Oct 18, 2010
    7,942
    North East England
    Your OH's GP may not talk talk to you about the results.....presuming of course that actually OH a) rang the GP...b) reported the correct verdict to you.But of course...you can talk to him about your concerns.....and I would.

    I would also write this all down and talk to your GP. This is having a physical and mental effect on you and your vulnerable son. He is being pushed out of his place in the family living room and also subject of physical distress ( if not actual abuse). I understand that by telling OH you will not let this continue, you could be leaving yourself open to abuse..so have a bag packed and a taxi firm on speed dial.....

    If there is nothing wrong with your OH you should not put up with this behaviour and if there is a cause, he and you need help.
     
  18. valleygirl

    valleygirl Registered User

    Apr 7, 2015
    9
    The DRS have advised my husband has mental capacity and therefore will not discuss anything not even the result of the CT Scan they have said if my husband makes an appointment to see a GP it would be a good idea to accompany him (why won't they listen he thinks nothing is wrong and if he did make an app I don't think he would tell me anyway) and "get everything out in the open". I felt like saying that I was not after a counselling session. I'm not saying it is dementia but surely you would think they would access him for mental illness. They will be accessing me soon if this continues for stress and anxiety I think. Yesterday my son changed the TV channel (my husband had left the room to use the PC which is in another room) he came back in and well doors were slammed and he said there is TV in his bedroom he should watch TV in there all the time. He then spend hours on the PC. Of course, I would not let him change the TV Channel back (he had been watching TV since he got up at 9am and this was 6pm) and if he even tried to physically harm us I would call 999 without hesitation. I have told my son we are going to start recording these "outbursts" for evidence although evidence for whom and what I honestly don't know. He has hardly spoken to me (or my son) since and I have left him on his own in the lounge to watch TV. His sister has promised to come for a visit (she lives away) this month and will try and help and my sister has offered to take us on hol for a week. To top things off the GP advised when he seen him in April (scribbled a note on a prescription paper my husband brought home) to inform the DVLA that the increased meds can cause a hypo (which I did) now a letter has arrived from the DVLA that basically his license was taken off him in 2012 - I did not know this. I am quite shocked. Shocked because this is so out of character and that he knows the law he is a Transport Manager for PSV and Haulage. He bought a new car in 2014. Now would anyone with mental capacity buy a new car when they do not have a license? I don't drive. He told me he has written a "nasty letter" to the DVLA??? I do not understand how his GP can say he thinks it is vascular dementia or mixed and then do a U-Turn and say no further action required (provided it was said which I can't find out). Where I go from here is anyone's guess. My son told me today Mr Locke (a teacher at school) does not like bully's and has no time for them. I cried (in private) I think I have hit rock bottom.
     
  19. Countryboy

    Countryboy Registered User

    Mar 17, 2005
    1,427
    Male
    Cornwall
    Valleygirl I have replayed to driving threads on T.P since March 2005 , obviously there are several types of dementia and its effects are different in majority of people with a diagnoses , I myself was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 1999 No mention on DVLA at that time after a couple of years my Consultant moved abroad in 2001 I was assigned to a younger Consultant he told me I had to inform DVLA I did and was given a driving licence for a 12 month period I continued to argue with my Consultant re: my diagnoses in 2003 he sent my to a hospital can't say name but it was out of the County to have a PET brain scan that's a radioactive medical scan that showed blood flow through parts of brain or in my case part where it should have been but wasn't they called in loss of volume on the frontal lobes of the brain FTD the scan was repeated in 2004 so I was now stuck with the diagnoses of frontal-temporal-dementia , I continued a long battle with DVLA for 12 years trying to get my full driving licence reinstated but the system treats all dementia suffers the same and would only grant the 12 month driving licence, finally after 12 years I decided to take the DVLA to court and challenge there decision I gathered loads of evidence regards my ability to drive and hold a full driving licence , this included me taking a driven test and filming myself drive in UK and in Spain through the city traffic and on motorways , the DVLA solicitors looked at all my evidence and decided it was in their best interest to Grant me a FULL driving licence and No more Medical Enquiries so now after being diagnosed 16 years ago with dementia I now have a full licence and yes driving around Majorca :) {hope this helps}

    Cheers Tony
     
  20. stanleypj

    stanleypj Registered User

    Dec 8, 2011
    10,684
    North West
    As I understand what valleygirl is saying Tony her husband's licence was taken away in 2012 (without her knowledge) and he has therefore been driving illegally and uninsured since then. I'm sure you would never have put yourself in this position.

    Perhaps though your post will be of interest to others who read the thread.
     
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