Diagnosis and mixed feelings

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by kayleigh999, Apr 21, 2007.

  1. kayleigh999

    kayleigh999 Registered User

    Apr 6, 2007
    Hi All

    I got Mom's diagnosis yesterday; vascular dementia and "patchy" evidence of AD.
    It seemed so odd in a way to be told standing in my parents kitchen. I think i was expecting hi-tech scans and many tests but no,not needed apparently.The top psychiatric doctor who assessed her delivered the news.

    Mom had stroke 2 yrs ago and that coupled with the extensive arteriel ishchimia (spelling!) (blocked arterys) she has and her poor score on the memory test was conclusive. Has anyone else been diagnosed this way may i ask?

    I do want to pass on what i hope may help some people. My Mother does not know of her condition and we are having to pussy foot around and tell her white lies as to why Doo tors etc are there. I knew i would not be able to talk freely to the Doctor so i wrote him a letter outlining her problems,and ours as a family. He commented about 6 times how helpful it was and got my Dad to be honest and confirm just how bad things have become.

    Mom has now been prescribed an anti-psychotic drug-Amisulpride. It is to "dampen down" her worst symtoms ie hullucinations and delusions and thinking my Dad is a stranger. Does anyone have any experience of this drug? Did it help or are the side effects severe? Doctor told me to look out for parkinson-like tremors.

    I would be really grateful if anyone has any information. Thanks.

    K xx
  2. kayleigh999

    kayleigh999 Registered User

    Apr 6, 2007

    Sorry i forgot to say the thing "mixed feelings" referred to. I am really worried these drugs will make my Mom a zombie. I have read they are diagnosed primarily for schitzophrenia. Thanks

    K xx
  3. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    Hi Kayleigh

    Sorry about your mum`s diagnosis. However much you expect it, it still comes as a shock.

    I`m glad the doctor appreciated your writing to him in advance. It`s something I`ve always done and helps a lot.

    I have no experience of the drug you mentioned, but I can understand your concern. The problem is, drugs have different effects on different people, so what applies to someone else, may not necessarily apply to your mum. In so many cases, drugs are considered a trial, and are adjusted as necessary.

    So all I can advise you to do is to stay observant, keep a diary and don`t hesitate to get back to the doctor if you have any cause for concern.

    Let us know how your mum gets on.
  4. Nebiroth

    Nebiroth Registered User

    Aug 20, 2006
    Our diagnosis was like that. I think that most are made by a combination of symptomatic evidence and cognitive tests. Rather than by high-tech scans and whatnot.

    AFAIK Alzheimers can only be conclusively diagnosed physically by a post-mortem examination of the brain. I think that with Vascular diagnosis can sometimes be spotted by doing brain scans which show the damaged areas.

    But often as not, the diagnosis will be done by questioning the patient/carers and testing their abilities.

    There may be things like blood-tests to rule out other causes but not always.

    As to the drugs, the only way is to try and see, because individual reactions are so different. The only thing you can do is to watch out for apparent side-effects and to report them to the doctor.

    Also don't be afraid to go back to the doctor if things don't improve again this is because what works for one won't help another and so on.

    The doctor should tell you how long it will take before side effects/benefits should become evident.
  5. Nell

    Nell Registered User

    Aug 9, 2005
    Don't know the drug you name but have some (limited) experience of antipsychotic drugs with a family member. In that case the person was VERY drowsy for the first few days, but got over that stage. I agree that you should monitor closely and keep in touch with your doctor. Thinking of you and hoping things improve soon. Nell
  6. Áine

    Áine Registered User

    I think that's a really good idea K. I found when dad started to be ill that I'd talk to doctors (GPs) usually in a crisis situation and found it hard to gather my thoughts about exactly what had happened over last few months that I was concerned about. And "he just doesn't seem right / doesn't seem to be himself" didn't cut much ice with them. They wanted details and incidents. So when he was going to see the psychiatrist for the first time, I wrote beforehand explaining what I was concerned about and key things that I thought were different. Easier to do it in my own time at home rather than struggling to remember to say things in the appointment.
  7. kayleigh999

    kayleigh999 Registered User

    Apr 6, 2007


    To all that replied thank you so much. I will keep an eye out for symtoms of bad side effects.

    I think it is all just sinking in really now as for many months i told myself off for thinking she had dementia and who the hell was i to be making a diagnosis. Reality has set in now and i will just do what i can to help her and cope like everyone else on the board has to (maybe when im not i can post for a little moan to offload:) )

    I think i feel why me? why my Mom? she has never hurt another soul in her life and was the most placid lady you could wish to meet. Her Irish spirit did surface when she was defending any of her kids though! ) I guess i could answer with why not my Mom? why should it be someone elses?

    I am glad i found this board, i feel people do understand and are kind enough to reply when their lives must be difficult too. Maybe when things are calmer i may even be in the position to reply to others and help them out too.

    Best wishes to you all and i did smile at the smiley on the last post..now i have lost all hope i feel better..i can identify with it and sometimes i think humour has to be the way to cope when your heart feels like it may break.

    K xxx
  8. chip

    chip Registered User

    Jul 19, 2005
    If you want to know anything about Drugs there side affects PM me and i will see if i can help you. My job was checking prescribing. I will also put the Nice guidelines internet address on the resources page for all to read up on. As this states a lot about sedation in dementia for eg Drug treatments for the control of violence aggression and extreme agitation should be used to calm the person with dementia and reduce the risk of violence and harm, rather than treat any underlying psychiatric condition. Healthcare proffesions should aim for an optimal response in which agitation or aggression is reduced without sedation.
  9. Sunlight

    Sunlight Registered User

    Feb 12, 2007
    Sometimes my mother has hallucinations and says the daftest things - if I didn't laugh I think I would go totally mad myself.
  10. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    what a lovely saying , Just how I feel

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