is deja vu a common symptom of Alzheimers?

Discussion in 'Memory concerns and seeking a diagnosis' started by geomack, Nov 6, 2015.

  1. geomack

    geomack Registered User

    Nov 6, 2015
    My wife was diagnosed 6 months ago with early stage Alz. In addition to the obvious problems with short, and increasingly, long term memory she has recently experienced a high level of deja vu. We watch TV together and she is often quite sure she has seen it before when I know this is impossible. I get her books from the library and she sends them back unread as she thinks she has already read them.
    I have not seen deja vu listed as a common feature of Alz. I am wondering if it is recognized by medical professionals as a symptom and if so how common it is.
  2. reedysue

    reedysue Registered User

    Nov 4, 2014
    Hello George, welcome to TP, you will find lots of useful info & help here.

    My mum has Alz and she also suffers from déjà vu in conection with the TV, she is convinced that everything is a repeat even when it is a new series, I have seen several other posts from members stating a similar thing.
  3. Ann422

    Ann422 Registered User

    Aug 9, 2015
    Hello George:
    Perhaps this old thread on this site might be of help. Note Katrine's response
  4. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    South coast
    How very strange. I was researching Delusional misidentification syndrome just last night. These are a group of delusions due to damage in the frontal lobes that cause confusion about reality. Capgras delusion is the most common - the idea that people you know have been replaced by impostors or fakes, but also covering duplicates of people, places or self. Deja vue is also mentioned.

    So it seems that deja vue is indeed a symptom of dementia, though perhaps not a very common one.
  5. jaymor

    jaymor Volunteer Moderator

    Jul 14, 2006
    My husband had seen everything before even breaking news and he could not differentiate between a programme and the adverts. The TVs soon became a redundant piece of furniture up the corner that needed dusting. It was much easier not to watch than to watch.
  6. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    I think it's simply to do with confusion about people and places. Even I think sometimes I've met someone before when I haven't. If a place for whatever reason looks familiar, you think you've been there already. For someone who battles with memory problems, this must happen a lot. You just mix up things in your head.
  7. jugglingmum

    jugglingmum Registered User

    Jan 5, 2014
    Before I realised my mum had dementia, a few times she said she thought we had seen or done x before, I couldn't make sense of what she was saying and dismissed it.

    With hindsight I think it was a symptom of the dementia, albeit an early one, which has now gone.
  8. jaymor

    jaymor Volunteer Moderator

    Jul 14, 2006
    As well as the TV my husband did it with places. We were out and about every day because that is what he wanted and we did visit many new places but he had always been there before. He would comment about cars for sale on forecourts as not selling because it had been there months, things wrong with houses because they had been up for sale three times this year.
  9. geomack

    geomack Registered User

    Nov 6, 2015

    thanks everyone, particularly Ann422 for drawing my attention to the thread from 2012. Its clearly a fairly common feature of dementia. I have stopped trying to tell my wife when she does her déjà vu thing or to set her right, it only upsets her because she knows her memory isnt working very well and doesnt want to believe she has Alzheimers. I hate to have to 'humour' her however, she has always been so rational, but maybe it would be best just to go along with her delusions.
  10. Candlelight 67

    Candlelight 67 Registered User

    Nov 4, 2013
    West Sussex
    My Mother does this too. She's seen the news and been everywhere. When we go out I am treated to a running commentary of how she's seen that woman with spindly legs or that man on the phone.

    Very interesting archive post and recent comments. It's nice to know my Mother is not alone in this. I'm working hard at not correcting her. .:)
  11. 1mindy

    1mindy Registered User

    Jul 21, 2015
    My husband say he thinks he k ows people who I have never seen .Says be has read things before seen programmes. before been to places.before. I thought he was just co erinv up in case he should k is the etc. Am I totally wrong ? Is he dillusional. ?
  12. Amy in the US

    Amy in the US Registered User

    Feb 28, 2015
    George, welcome to Talking Point.

    I don't know how common this symptom of dementia is, but my mother definitely had/has it, and you've heard from others, so anecdotally, my guess is that it's not unheard of.

    I know it's counter-intuitive but it is best if you don't challenge or disagree with your wife when she does this. It will do no good to try to "set her straight" as her brain is no longer working logically. At least, that's true for my mother; any type of correction, contradiction, or pointing out that something isn't correct distresses her immensely so we just don't do this anymore.

    Someone will, I hope, post the link to compassionate communication; have a read and see what you think.

    Best wishes and hang in there.

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