I often wonder if COPD cause's alzheimers.

Another-David

Registered User
Sep 13, 2009
3
0
Hi Newbie here.
I was diagnosed with alpha1"copd related" some ten years ago.
I am 55 so I am expecting to lose some of my marbles eventually but now and again I forget some many little things like things I say to the family.
My worry stems from my mum she died sometime back from alzheimers
We were never really close "1 of 9 kids there had to be troublesome black sheep":).
Anyways she died of the illness after years of mood swings and literally just walking out in the middle of the night in her nighty at winter time.
Pretty rough stuff for the rest of the family.
When I did see her I noticed she was always complaining of headaches and she couldn't breath properly and she became housebound.
Now here is my worry it was some years back now and in those days the NHS were very slow at diagnosing alpha1 infact they are still very slow these days if you ask me.
I reckon looking back at her symptoms that she may have had alpha1,because they are identical to mine.
Which causes me to wonder if alzheimers could be caused by lack of oxygen to the brain.
 

Sandy

Registered User
Mar 23, 2005
6,847
0
Hi Another-David,

Welcome to Talking Point (TP).

If you have concerns about your memory, you really need to discuss them with your GP.

Many conditions, including anxiety and depression, can affect a person's memory.

There have been discussions about COPD in the past on TP:

http://forum.alzheimers.org.uk/showthread.php?t=11445&highlight=COPD

You have a rarer, genetic form of COPD, is that right:

http://www.alpha1awareness.org.uk/alpha1.htm

The only references that I can find to COPD and dementia suggest that if someone has dementia and also has a condition like COPD, if the COPD is not properly treated it can make the dementia worse:

http://www.merck.com/pubs/mmanual_ha/sec3/ch27/ch27a.html:

Certain disorders, if inadequately treated, can make dementia worse. Examples are diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and heart failure. Many people improve substantially when these disorders are treated.

Please see your GP to discuss your concerns.

Take care,
 

Norrms

Registered User
Feb 19, 2009
5,631
0
Torquay Devon
Hi

Hiya, i have often as ked a simular question because i had heart failure and COPD before i was diagnosed with AD and some say the lack of Oxygen because of the Heart Failure (lack of Oxygen)could be a cause but was only mentioned by an American doctor and nothing proved medicaly yet. best to see your GP and see what he says, good luck, Norrms and fmaily
 

Another-David

Registered User
Sep 13, 2009
3
0
Hi Sandy Hi Norrms,
Thanks for the reply's I have actually mentioned this to my GP and I believe his words were there as been no proof of COPD causing any form of dementia/alzheimers.
As I wrote I have often wondered about this because of my mother.
Guess we shall have to wait for the people across the pond to discover whether there is any connection.
Then like the good old British NHS always does we will do our own trials which may take possibly 5/10 years then if there is any treatment we will have to be rich to afford it.:D
Sorry for my liberal speaking,its a fault of mine.

Regards.
David.
 

Norrms

Registered User
Feb 19, 2009
5,631
0
Torquay Devon
Hiya

Hiya David, dont worry about the liberal speaking, i for one admire it and much prefer it, best wishes, Norms and family
 

jc141265

Registered User
Sep 16, 2005
836
0
49
Australia
Hi David,

As the daughter of an early onset sufferer, I can add to this thread as say that when your parent has had dementia, it is completely natural to go through every symptom, every habit, every illness and every long term condition, every idiosyncracy (I don't think I spelt that right) and then compare them to your own and wonder if it was that particular thing that you both share, that led to their Alzheimer's or dementia. That it could be what will cause you to follow in their footsteps...

That being said, I am not saying your worries are unfounded, it sounds perfectly logical that lack of oxygen to the brain could cause or encourage dementia and it is only by asking these questions that we can potentially get researchers to consider them too. Just wanted to let you know that you are not alone in this kind of worry.

It may also be that a variety of things can cause the variety of dementia causing conditions out there. Here you are worried about COPD causing dementia, as you suspect it could have caused or contributed to your mother's condition. Someone else thinks that their parent's diabetes, something they share with them caused theirs (and there is a lot of scientific thought suggesting this one does increase risk). Me, I worry about the fact that my dad had a very unique way of thinking, and a unique way of expressing his emotions something myself and my brother share with him and I worry that there is something genetically different about our brains, that could make us more susceptible.

What can be frustrating is people (including doctors) think it is reassuring to brush your concerns off and tell you not to worry, suggest that you are just hypersensitive because of your parent's condition, but that really doesn't help does it? I think most of us who have these worries, know that they could amount to nothing and could be eating at us because we don't want to get dementia but yet have experienced it in a family member so are more aware of it. But what would make us feel better is to not to be dismissed willy nilly, because the fact is no one can be sure we're not right, because no bagger really knows for sure what causes these diseases!

I can say however from my 12years of experience, that the worrying about these things can cause dementia like symptoms themselves, forgetfulness and difficulties making your brain work like you want it to. The best thing I found to combat the stress caused by such thoughts is to monitor your dementia like behaviours as calmly as possible, telling yourself there is a good chance that they are caused simply by stress, and then ask yourself each month, 'Have they got worse? Do they appear to be getting worse consistently over time?'

If you are like me so far, they come and they go, sometimes seeming worser than usual for a time, but other times they are not there at all. If they do continue to occur and are persistent and things are getting harder and harder, then you need to see a doctor. If you don't trust yourself to be able to monitor your behaviours (afraid that you might not be aware of your own difficulties) then ask someone else to monitor you. The rest of the time, you have to try and simply enjoy life now, either way, whether you get this disease or not, right now you can live life. I always try to remember this and not waste too much of it worrying unless there is something I think my worrying can achieve (i.e. if I really did at this point need a doctor to assess me or prescrive medications).

Best wishes and I hope that even if COPD is a risk factor, you escape the statistics.
 

rvwoods

Registered User
Sep 27, 2009
26
0
United States
COPD and Dementia symptoms

I have never seen anything that indicated a link between COPD and Alzheimer's, but some of you may find this interesting. I started noticing some memory and anxiety problems many years ago,long before my wifes Dementia problems started. I finally decided that I didn't want my children to have to take care of me and my wife,so I went to my wife neurologist. I underwent a battery of test that indicated the probable cause. I have COPD (I new that)a defective heart valve that results in low blood pressure(I new this also)that is causing a reduction in blood flow to the brain. Since this problem has been getting worse for many years I imagine age has a small role in this. One of the symptoms has been light handedness upon standing which has been occurring for at least 30 years. I noticed that physical activity makes things worse, I have come close to passing out at times. I will admit that taking care of my wife really brought this problem to the forefront, it isn't the underlying cause.
Roy
 

Lynne

Registered User
Jun 3, 2005
3,433
0
Suffolk,England
Interesting thread

My friend's husband (B) had a stroke about 2 years ago, from which he was making a good recovery, physically. Then he had another 'episode' last year, which the hospital told her was a TIA, and that B now had vascular dementia. Following discharge from hospital B went to S. Lodge care home, but after a month Pam had him home again. The 2nd episode had effected him very little physically, but there was much more mental confusion and obsessional behaviour. Sadly, B is now back at S. Lodge, although Pam takes him out as much as she can, and spends a lot of time with him there.

The relevance to this thread (sorry about the preamble) is that Pam notices that B recovers more quickly from fatigue & anxiety/confusion episodes if he is allowed to lie down for a while. This was his habit at home (on couch, but in preference to sitting) but is not allowed at the home. Pam's theory is that B's recovery could be due simply to improved blood-flow to the brain (therefore improved oxygenation). This is where the possible cross-over with COPD occurred to me - oxygenation.