Another test to do...


Registered User
Apr 4, 2006
Hi all,

I went to the neurologist today with my Dad (is it strange to have a neurologist appointment on a Saturday?!). My Dad was diagnosed with Dementia two and a half years ago but the doctors have been unable to identify exactly what is causing it. He has had numerous MRI, EEG and CAT scans as well as blood tests, memory tests etc, but still no proper diagnosis.

The neurologist has asked my Dad to go to another hospital in a few weeks time to have a Lumbar Puncture. He says it is to see if Dad has swelling on his brain which has not been picked up on all the other tests. It is the last test they will do in order to reach a diagnosis. My Dad agreed but was most annoyed and wanted to leave straight away, meaning that I didn't have any time to ask any questions myself :(

Having since looked it up on the internet, all I have done is confuse myself with all the medical jargon!! Have any of you had any experience with this procedure and the proceeding diagnosis? As well as having to travel for an hour and a half to the other hospital, I'm worried about how Dad will cope with the actual procedure. He gets scared when he goes for MRI scans, I think this will be even more distressing for him. Will I be able to stay with him through out it?

Thanks in advance for any information you can give me, it's incredibly gratefully received!

K x


Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
Hmm: this may not be exactly the same but by son had a lumbar pucture once. It that situation they injected a local, then got him to "curl up" into a ball if you know what I mean, and I just sat beside the bed and held his hand for the whole time. The most difficult part was keeping him in bed for the required amount of time after the procedure: you need to do that otherwise the headache is immense.However, different situation (and in fact a different country). I would call the consultant's secretary and ask how they procede with this, and if they don't know (sigh) ask who would know. Alternatively the hopital PALS (Patient advice and Liason) department may be able to help you: I've found them very effective at shaking loose information.

Edited to add: regarding the disgnosis - I think part of the diagnosis is that simply by removing the fluid, does the dementia improve. I wondering if they suspect normal pressure hydrocephalus see here 4
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