1. doris

    doris Registered User

    Oct 3, 2005
    23
    Hi
    could you pls give me you experiences of AD, as i am not sure if the symptoms my friend has are AD. He has alot of the symptoms that are described on this site but he seems to get better for a week maybe more before having another lapse. When he is ok he is quite normal, short term memory and understanding a bit doggy but otherwise not too bad but then goes down hill and gets alot of the classic symptoms. Surly if the brain cells are dying then they can't come back and behave as before. I am really confused as we still have not had a diagnosis.
    what do you think
    Doris
     
  2. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    12,413
    near London
    Hello Doris
    On Talking Point you will find all sorts of experiences of people who have seen friends, relatives and partners who have dementia.

    But Talking Point is not a means of diagnosis for dementia.

    It is a very good way to learn, but the GP is the first port of call when we suspect someone has dementia. On TP we are all lay people and, while we often have more in depth knowledge of caring for those with dementia than do many in the medical profession, to gain a diagnosis of dementia requires all sorts of tests, not simply observation of behaviours.

    For my wife, I know that depression, epilepsy, alcohol, brain tumours, etc were all considered in the long path to diagnosis.
    The brain is a very resilient thing, and there is lots of redundancy built in, so that if some parts are damaged, it can often shift things to a new area.

    Memories of things are in [at least] two parts, in my thinking [I am no expert]:

    Firstly, the memory of something itself, a happening sometime.
    Secondly, the knowledge of the location of the cells where the memory of that something lives.

    So sometimes, the memory itself may be wiped out.

    Other times, the bit of the brain that says "the memory starts at cell 1,200,000" is lost, though the memory is actually still there.

    Because of some duplication in the brain, it may be that another bit of the brain knows where the memory starts, and that may kick in later, and the memory will be recalled - when we think it was lost.

    To complicate things, sometimes the brain thinks it knows where something the person has experienced is stored, but it actually has another memory entirely at that spot. That's when real confusion sets in.

    Of course all my words above may be absolute tosh, but it is how I visualise things as that is basically how computer memory works, and I know computers better than I know human brains! :confused:
     
  3. Norman

    Norman Registered User

    Oct 9, 2003
    4,348
    Birmingham Hades
  4. Sandy

    Sandy Registered User

    Mar 23, 2005
    6,847
    Hi Doris,

    You might also want to take a look at the factsheet for vascular dementia:

    http://www.alzheimers.org.uk/Facts_about_dementia/What_is_dementia/info_vascular.htm

    The symptoms can be very like Alzheimer's, but the progression can be quite different. Changes can take place in a more noticable 'step-like' manner. Also, the factsheet says that symptoms caused by mini-strokes can be temporary, so I suppose the person might appear to make a recovery after an episode.

    Does your friend have any of the risk factors associated with vascular dementia: high blood pressure, heart problems, high cholesterol, or diabetes?

    Take care,

    Sandy
     
  5. Jude

    Jude Registered User

    Dear Doris,

    Your friend's symptoms sound very similiar to my father's initial 'forgetfulness'. Try and persuade your friend to visit the local GP for some professional advice. It would definitely help to sort things out and relieve any anxiety that you both may be feeling.

    Best wishes,

    Jude
     

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