Alzheimer's & Seizures

Discussion in 'I have a partner with dementia' started by triumph25, Aug 7, 2015.

  1. triumph25

    triumph25 Registered User

    Apr 2, 2012
    Forest of Dean
    I have had a real shock this morning as my partner had a major seizure. It was very scary as he was foaming at the mouth and drooling, jerking etc. he has never had anything like this before. Prior to the fit he gave a real guttural scream if pain then fell straight to the floor.

    I called the ambulance and he was duly taken to A&E. After the fit had passed he was very woozy and much more confused than normal, although he had no recollection of what had happened etc.

    At A & E they did the usual check, blood pressure, temperature, ECG, blood tests etc, but no brain scan. They then sent us home with a leaflet entitled your first fir, and with a referral to the epilepsy clinic in about 4 weeks time.

    I really don't know what to think. In my admittedly limited experience I didn't think that extreme pain was a precursor to a fit. Can anyone shed any light on whether this is likely to be an isolated incident or is it to be an expected development of the progression of the Alzheimer's?

    Does anyone else care for someone who has developed fitting as part if the Alzheimer's, and if so how do they cope.

    I'm obviously scared to let him out of my sight as I'm worried it will happen again.

    Help please.
  2. betsie

    betsie Registered User

    Jun 11, 2012
    I took mum to the hospital Monday. She has had what we thought were TIAs but the doctor now thinks they are fits, as she has not suffered any muscle loss, or loss of speech etc.
    She has had 3 this year so far ( had probably 3 or 4 last year). She just passes out and does this horrible excessive yawning thing like she is trying to push her teeth out. She also wets herself.
    Afterwards she can't remember it and is very sleepy.
    She is having a 24hr ECG and blood pressure monitor next week and an EEG to check brain.
    The doctor said their is medication but you have to weigh up the benefits with the side effects, so hasn't prescribed her anything yet.
    He said fits are more common than people think in old age ( did find links to dementia and Alzheimer's when I googled it), but smaller ones are often put down to T I As.
  3. Feline

    Feline Registered User

    Oct 25, 2012
    East Devon
    Hi Triumph25,
    This happened to my husband exactly as you describe, about two months ago, I also called the ambulance and we went to A&E, obs were done, no scan, home by lunch time.
    We were told it could be a one off and weren't referred to epilepsy clinic, only if he has more.
    It did knock him for six, it is only this last week that he seems to be getting back to "normal for him", I am not going to worry about more, if it happens then it happens and I will deal with it again. I can't leave my husband alone anyway, so I will soon know.
    I do make sure that I get him up and washed, dressed etc. slowly, in order to try and avoid a repeat performance. I agree about the gutterel scream, my husband doesn't speak so I turned immediately and was in time to lower him (fitting) to the ground.
    Take care.
  4. triumph25

    triumph25 Registered User

    Apr 2, 2012
    Forest of Dean
    Thanks both for your support. I suppose we will just have to wait & see what, if anything happens next. But my partner us only 62 so not very old, and it just seems another cruel blow to have this on top of the Alzheimer's. Sometime life sucks!

    And I'm still trying to work part-time!

    I will phone hus consultant on Monday and see what she suggests, if anything.

    Thanks once again.
  5. Feline

    Feline Registered User

    Oct 25, 2012
    East Devon
    My husband has just turned 66 and I still work part time in our own business, so I can take him with me. I now get day care at a good nursing home 3 days a week which helps a lot, working helps, having to think about everyday things other than care giving, although it is also quite tiring doing both. Anyway life goes on, school holidays so lots of grandchild minding while daughters work, they support us so I support them. Luckily we all live within a few miles.Would be interested to hear what your consultant says.
  6. Grace L

    Grace L Registered User

    Jun 14, 2014
    NW UK
    Hello triumph25,

    My husband developed seizures too.... and yes it was really scary to witness.
    It really shook me up to see him in a full blown seizure.

    He was in bed (I had just got up, showered and was sitting having cup of tea) , and he yelled out....
    by the time I had got to the bedroom he was in full blown seizure.
    I waited, watched (my heart pounding), felt like forever.... then dialled 999.

    His big fit lasted for 10 mins +, but was still a little jerky by the time the ambulance got there.
    I had put him in the recovery position , but he was still semi-conscious and jerky.

    I was in shock and shaking myself when the crew arrived.

    He had VaD (early onset), though some of his Docs thought ? Lewy, Picks, or Mixed.

    He was seen in A&E, then sent to the Assessment ward for observation....kept in overnight.
    Next day we were given an appointment for the Epilepsy Clinic for 6 weeks time.
    When we got home, I rang the Stroke Nurse at the TiA Clinic to ask for help (in tears), and told them 6 weeks was too long to wait, told them I was scared... and asked to be seen quicker...
    Stroke Nurse made a few phone calls, then rang me back saying they had got husband an appointment
    for 2 weeks time....
    ......... if you can..... (I'm guessing you are worried/ concerned) ... push for an earlier appointment

    He was seen at the Epilepsy Clinic and told they generally wait till another seizure happens before a treatment plan is started...
    ..... anyway, he had more seizures .... in the coming months, then they started medication.
    Then had EEGs, Sleep Study ( some seizures in his sleep), .... it took a while to sort-out medication.

    In the meantime, keep a diary ... watch your husband to see if you think he is having absence seizures
    or any prolonged shaking / twitches ....
    The more information the Doctors have the better.... Call 999 if you need to.

    I know how you will be feeling... so sending you a (((( BIG HUG ))) ....
  7. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    South coast
    Hi my hubby has epilepsy following a traumatic brain injury which cant be fully controlled by medication so Ive seen a lot of seizures over the years. He has several different types of seizures from absence attacks, through partial seizures (rubs his nose and picks at his clothing) and small jerk fits to full-blown tonic/clonic seizures with salivation and vomiting.
    Id like to reassure you that the cry at the start of a tonic/clonic seizure is not because they are in pain. It happens because the chest muscles and vocal chords go into spasms too and the air is forced out in a cry. My husband often continues vocalising throughout a tonic/clonic seizure.
  8. garnuft

    garnuft Registered User

    Sep 7, 2012
    I was going to say that too,Canary.
    Although it is not the case with my son, he goes VERY quiet and withdrawn, feeling the 'aura'.

    My sister and cousin do/did suffer from tonic clonic seizures, like my son, yet they both used to cry out before and during seizures, in fact 'guttural' is the EXACT description I would give to the sounds they made.

    Terrifying and is a torment in my life, so I know how you feel, triumph25.

    It is not something I have ever gotten used to but my son and sister are both stable due to the anti-epilepsy medication.

    It's perfectly normal for a 'one-off' seizure to be ignored, my son had his first at the age of two and had to be ventilated but the ongoing therapy was to wait to see if it happened again.

    With lots of people it doesn't happen again, with some it does and of course, because of the toll/injuries happening during's even harder to predict,
    but anti-epilepsy drugs are not a medication to be taken lightly and so, quite rightly, Doctors wait until the benefit of a drug outweighs any cons.'s a dreadful thing to live with.
    My son recently had norovirus and struggled to keep down his medication so on top of him being ill, cleaning up both ends of his body...I think I was most stressed by having to guess whether his drugs had managed to stay in his system long enough and wondering what the consequences might be.

    It's a nightmare but I have spent more of my time worrying about things that COULD happen than dealing with manifestation of my worries.

    Hope things settle to an even keel for your husband and you. x
  9. triumph25

    triumph25 Registered User

    Apr 2, 2012
    Forest of Dean
    Thank you all so much for your support and for telling me your experiences. It helps greatly too know others out there are having to cope with the same things, dreadful though they are!

    We just have yo keep on going I suppose, and I will keep on to try and get an earlier appointment.

    Thank you all once again! X
  10. Feline

    Feline Registered User

    Oct 25, 2012
    East Devon
    Just to say my husband is in hospital tonight after I couldn't rouse him, neither could paramedics,may have had an unwitnessed seizure, obviously not violent like his first one.
    Consultant not sure why he is drifting off, has been unrousable for most of the day,coming to for short while. And going off again, lots of myclonic jerks also.
  11. triumph25

    triumph25 Registered User

    Apr 2, 2012
    Forest of Dean
    How is he now Felne? Any news?
  12. triumph25

    triumph25 Registered User

    Apr 2, 2012
    Forest of Dean
    How is he now Feline? Any news?
  13. Feline

    Feline Registered User

    Oct 25, 2012
    East Devon
    He is home again now, back to as he was before episode, consultant thinks it was either unwitnessed seizure during the night, TIA, or viral infection because his temperature was up. They whacked in some IV antibiotics last night and today you wouldn't know there had been a problem! The care was excellent, he was given a twiddle muff as standard for severe alzheimer patients and all help was given with great patience.
    Because we couldn't be sure of it being a seizure, he has not been referred to epilepsy clinic.
    Thanks for taking the time to ask how he is.

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