It isn't Alzheimer but vascular dementia...

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by SmogTheCat, Jun 23, 2006.

  1. SmogTheCat

    SmogTheCat Registered User

    Sep 1, 2005
    A couple of days ago Antonietta did "MMSE test". She got very bad results and doctor told us she isn't affected by Alzheimer but by Vascular Dementia.
    Doctor explain us htat her aggressivity is natural for this kind of disease and she understand that she isn't the same person as some years ago.
    He told us Antonietta need to be stimulated a lot for everything.
    She is temporarly disoriented, she confuse things, names etc....

    So, what's differences between Alzheimer and Vascular Dementia? Is it better or worste?

    Doctor told us Antonietta understood to be in a nursing home and she will not go back home. She seems to understand why other people cry or are sad.

    What we can do for helping Antonietta?
  2. Lucille

    Lucille Registered User

    Sep 10, 2005
    #2 Lucille, Jun 23, 2006
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2006
    Hello SmogTheCat

    There's a separate section on TP for discussion of vascular dementia so it might be worth you having a look in there. Also, Bruce has posted some really useful comments about this.

    My mum has AD/VaD and what the consultant told me is that the Vascular Dementia is caused by strokes. Her brain scan indicated minor ones, even though she didn't have the mobility/speech problems usually associated with this. He said she might have more and might not know she's had them. As she didn't realise she had the ones the scan showed, this is likely! Also, I think the decline in patients with VaD is, and I'm quoting Bruce here, "more stepped" in progression. Certainly, my mum's decline seems to be fairly slow (thank god), although I'm told if she had another stroke this would affect her. Up to now, she hasn't shown any signs of aggression. Before I received the diagnosis she was very depressed and not really with it. The CPN told me that depression is common when people start to suffer from this illness (not surprisingly!) Mum is early stages at the moment, but her decline is more evident in the last 8 months.

    I'm sure there are others on here who care for people with VaD who can give you much more detailed information.

    I'm so sorry to hear about the diagnosis; however it's wrapped up, it's still not good news.
  3. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    near London
    not in my wife's case - she has not been very aggressive, though there were a few occasions in the very early stages.

    People - like Jan - can have both alzheimer's and vascular dementias, in such cases it is difficult to decide where the one ends and the other starts.
  4. jennifer3

    jennifer3 Registered User

    Apr 4, 2006
    vascular demetia

    my hubbie has V/Dementia and alzhiemers, we were told at clinic that the alzheimers is not as severe as thought but vascular is worse :confused: it seems to make no differance to rate of deteration. the good news is doc started him on anti hallucineric drugs, don't have as many visitors ! of the imaginary kind and he is able to do little things after being asked once GREAT but it takes so much time to explain how it's hard not to do it yourself I have found with V/D very occasionaly he is still in if you know what i mean hope the pills work for a while
    I am lucky really as he is not violent, althoudh social workers keep asking, and seem not to believe me
    do all dementia suffers get violent or can they get gentler ? he seems to be the latter
  5. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    While in Gibraltar a friend epoch me about her friends husband who had VD then later few years on was told he had AD I ask if he had heart, mini stroke, cholesterol, diabetic problems first she said yes, the husband is also very aggressive verbally.

    They are both English retried & retried out there few years a go, but are moving back to UK( because the husband been told he now has AD) also the wife will get more help for herself & her husband. I told her about TP & advice her as best as I could in what I have learn from being on TP.

    She said he was on exbiza for 2 years & it was not working so the wife took it upon herself to stop the medication because he was seeing thing that was not there since stopping medication he better , I was a bit worried when she said about stopping medication as from what I have read on TP in what happen when you stop giving medication , but I suppose every one different .

    One thing I did find interesting is when she said that her daughter in UK has found out that there is a new drug for AD , she did not know what it was called & was not any of the Name I new that is given . Just that it’s a new one out & cost privately £150 a pack.

    I thought Exbiza was the last new drug ?
  6. Tess

    Tess Registered User

    Nov 29, 2005
    I live in west wales
    Violent or gentle

    Hi Jennifer 3

    You asked whether dementia sufferers get more violent or gentler. Well my Mum ahs AD and although she has always been quite a gentle lady, she has become much more loving and demonstrative since she’s had AD. Every time she walks past my dad she kisses his forehead and she tells him over and over again every day that she is so glad that she married him. She doesn’t want him to be out of her sight for more than a few minutes. They’ve been married for 55 years. The CPN told dad that Mum sees him as ‘her rock’, she depends on him so much now that she becomes unsettled if he’s not with her for any length of time. It’s very sweet to watch her looking at my dad so lovingly but poor Dad can get exasperated – he’s never been the demonstrative type and he finds it a bit embarrassing when they are with other people. Still, as he says, he can cope easily enough with all this show of affection where he would find it very difficult to cope with aggression.
  7. Lila13

    Lila13 Registered User

    Feb 24, 2006
    My mother only had a few violent episodes. It was usually easy to tell what had triggered them, but impossible to avoid the triggers.


  8. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    near London
    I think that any violence that can occur varies from person to person, and changes over time as well, as the dementia takes hold. Medication can cause or stop aggression, too.

    I've seen people who have become aggressive in the early stages when their medication regime has not been sorted out. I've seen people become aggressive when put on a different medication from one they have been using. I've seen people become aggressive when pushed to do something they see no reason to do, or by someone they don't want to do it for. I've also seen people, normally gentle, suddenly become aggressive, then lapse back to their normal state again. I have also seen people, normally liable to aggression, lose that as the dementia has progressed - they have not become gentler, as such, just less conscious of things around them.

    Oh, and I've also seen people who have never shown any aggression at all, at any stage.

    I think we just have to take things as they come, and on a day by day basis. What is true today, may not be so tomorrow, for better or worse.
  9. housemaid37

    housemaid37 Registered User

    Jun 25, 2006
    Hello from a newbie - just registered. :eek:

    My mother has vascular dementia and she did become quite violent. However, it has now lessened and both we and her specialist have come to the conclusion that the drugs she'd been given to lessen her symptoms actually exacerbated them. I'm not sure how unusual this is, though. It is incredibly distressing for everyone when it happens - especially when she got hold of my Dad, her husband of 58 years, round the throat. My thoughts go out to anyone who is dealing with this.

    I do have a question as well. A lot of Mum's worrying behaviour seems to be triggered by boredom. However, her eyesight isn't brilliant and her concentration is, of course, impaired. Has anyone found any games/activities *anything* really that could help to keep her occupied for periods when my Dad needs to just sit for a while? Incidentally we're just about to do a Social Services referral, but a day centre would seem to be out of the question because she gets incredibly distressed when she's separated from Dad.

    Any suggestions gratefully received...
  10. Amy

    Amy Registered User

    Jan 4, 2006
    Hiya Housemaid,
    Welcome to TP - don't think I can be of much help though.
    Don't dismiss it too quickly. Maybe you or your dad could go along and stay with her initially to build up confidence and familiarity with the place. What about asking for someone to come and be in the house, so take some of the pressure off dad.
    We coped by dad taking mum for long drives, or walks, and them calling on me. I would then occupy mum whilst dad was able to read the paper for an hour. Mum couldn't concentrate, so attempts to involve her in sewing, simple card games, dominoes were only partially successful. Afraid amusing herself was a none starter.
    Your dad needs help in, to give him a break, so he can cope better on his own when it is just the two of them.
  11. dmc

    dmc Registered User

    Mar 13, 2006
    hiya housemaid,

    welcome, hope you find this forum as usefull as i have,
    my mum went through a very agressive period at the beginning of her dementia, luckily for us most of it was when she was in hospital, thankfully its under control now,
    the only thing i can suggest that keeps my mum occupied while my dad gets a rest is if i do her hair, she normally falls asleep which is a bit awkward when youve got her hair in curling tongs, :eek:
    but she loves a bit of pampering her nails or make up and she's happy for a short while anyway, she has no interest in anything else that she loved before such as gardening.
    sorry cant be more help, good luck anyway:)
  12. mel

    mel Registered User

    Apr 30, 2006
    Hi housemaid
    I'd really like some tips too!!
    Mum used to love gardening, watching tv,walking but that's all gone..
    I do give her the paper to read every day and that sometimes keeps her occupied....she doesn't read it but seems to like to flick through it....again and again and again....!
    She also likes to look at photos and that can keep her fairly amused...however she tends to take them out of the album and screw,roll or tear them up after a while!
    Mum does like to go out in the car ....she always thinks I'm taking her around where she used to live(Swindon) but it amuses her...It is difficult....she's really at her happiest when I'm in the same room as her which really isn't that practical.....I need a bit of my own space!!!
  13. dmc

    dmc Registered User

    Mar 13, 2006
    she's really at her happiest when I'm in the same room as her which really isn't that practical.....I need a bit of my own space!!!


    hi mel
    i can so relate to that quote!:rolleyes:
  14. Helena

    Helena Registered User

    May 24, 2006
    I am blessed if I know what the diagnosis is for my Mother
    But what is strange is she has no understanding of figures /finances /etc and substitutes wrong words , long silences , agression , confusion, yet she read out loud word for word the entire 2 pages of the take over offer for BAA shares

    She had no understanding of what it meant and then claimed she had not received it and had never had the share certificates

    She can guifde me on unfamiliar roads to get to her bank and supermarket but sure as heck is not fit to drive

    Crazy or what ?????? can anyone relate or explain this
  15. Amy

    Amy Registered User

    Jan 4, 2006
    Hiya Helena,
    No I cannot explain anything, but I know mum retained the ability to read odd sentences (but not on demand) long after other things had gone.
  16. Lucille

    Lucille Registered User

    Sep 10, 2005
    Hi Helena

    I can't explain it either! My mum will read an article from the paper and say: listen to this ... and I'll make whatever remark about it and then five minutes later: listen to this ... (same article). A bit later on: listen to this etc etc. And yet when I asked her the other day about whether she had started reading books again (huge stack on table next to her), she said, she had. That she didn't find she was forgetting things as much and she would just re-read the previous paragraph and it comes back. Is she trying to cover herself by lying? Exactly what does she remember - if anything? I then find myself behaving like some kind of sleuth, raiding her cupboards whilst she's out of the room, to check the books she'd already read with the new ones she'd bought. She hadn't duplicated any of the titles! I don't think I could remember some of the titles of books I'd read, when faced with them all in front of me. It's a mystery, isn't it and it makes it very difficult to 'know the enemy'!
  17. Lila13

    Lila13 Registered User

    Feb 24, 2006
    My mother could read and write a little, until just before the end. And she could remember that she'd been able to read much more.

    On the 21st April she signed and addressed a birthday card for a friend, and about a week later received a card from that friend's sister telling her that her friend had died. That was one of her last straws.
  18. Lila13

    Lila13 Registered User

    Feb 24, 2006
    There were times when my mother followed me round the house like a puppy, times when I locked myself up in the upstairs bathroom with her whimpering outside the door, a time when I put a chair against my bedroom door to keep her out, (to her great distress), also times when I "hid" in her greenhouse, finding it strange that she couldn't see me in there through clear glass.

    But other times when she told me definitely that her house was her house and I was to go away and not leave any of my things there or she would throw them away.

    She really wanted me on a piece of string so she could throw me out and drag me back several times a week, and it was too far for that.


  19. housemaid37

    housemaid37 Registered User

    Jun 25, 2006
    Many thanks for the replies. Amy, it had never occurred to us that perhaps Dad could go to the Day Centre with Mum until she becomes used to it. We may well look into that.

    I think it's fab that this forum is here. Just to know other people are going through this is a help - you don't feel quite so alone.

    As for the oddities of this illness: Mum is losing vocabulary now, but a couple of weeks ago, she came out with a phrase in perfect French. She studied it at school , but she is 80 next month! :confused:
  20. cynron

    cynron Registered User

    Sep 26, 2005
    east sussex
    german thank you

    After my husband was sedated for the removal of a facial suspect lesion. I was in the recovery room with him and as he became more aware i said say thank you to the nurse that was looking after him oxegen etc. He looked at her and said a perfect german thank you.!!!DUNKER SHERN, ( NOT CORRECT SPELLING)He only knows a few words in german but recalled this phrase from long ago;) The nurse was english.

    Cynron x x

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