1. mark2160

    mark2160 Registered User

    Aug 19, 2015
    Dear all, my 52 year old wife had been displaying all the classic symptoms of Dementia for the last two years and continues to decline.
    About four weeks ago just prior to her first appointment at Memory clinic my Wife was given a MRI scan at our local hospital.
    Today I received a call from the clinic stating that the results of the scan have finally come back and are perfectly normal.
    Memory Clinic assessed my Wife before they had received the scan results and saw how poor her memory and cognitive skills were.
    They seem to be a surprised as I am and are now sending her for a CAT scan.
    As anyone else come across this issue?
  2. Onlyme

    Onlyme Registered User

    Apr 5, 2010
    Perhaps they were looking for tumour, didn't find one so now have to do more usual type scan.
  3. Selinacroft

    Selinacroft Registered User

    Oct 10, 2015
    When Dad had a scan it was because of admission to hospital for a possible bleed on the brain, the memory consultant said it wasn't worth putting him through another scan although the first wasn't much use because Dad had moved at the wrong time.
    The memory consultant said that if he had requested the scan he would have asked for different things to be looked at , rather than just bleeding on the brain and so he couldn't say if AZ was present or not but on the balance of probability it was VD rather than AZ. I got the impression AZ could be detected on scans but something shrinking but VD presented in a different way depending on where stroke/TIA had occurred if that makes any sense.
  4. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    South coast
    Sometimes in the early stages, although there is obviously some sort of dementia present, it doesnt always show up on the scan. The memory clinic may ask for a repeat scan later on.
  5. TooHard

    TooHard Registered User

    Sep 16, 2015
    This is quite interesting as my mum had a scan in September 2014 while she was in hospital for something else. I was so thrown by how disoriented (delusional, aggressive, confused etc) she became while there that I asked if it could be because she'd had a fall the previous week and hit her head (we hadn't realised at that point that she had dementia). I was told, at that time, that the scan was normal.

    However, when mum finally saw the dementia specialist this January (the deterioration since that hospital stay has been quite fast and it became obvious that she had dementia) he asked if there was a scan prior to the appointment and he was able to view it before we attended the appointment with him. He explained that the scan showed that mum had mixed dementia including vascular dementia.

    I can only assume that they were looking for evidence of a fracture rather than any other reason for her confusion. Had they said then that there was evidence of vascular damage we would have been the best part of a year ahead of where we are now.
  6. Rich PCA Carer

    Rich PCA Carer Registered User

    Dementia doesn't show up in MRI or CT scans until there is some significant shrinkage in the brain. In my wife's case, she had MRI and CT scans in 2014 whilst they were trying to diagnose the reason for her epileptic attacks. Both scans were clear. After her referral to the memory clinic at the end of 2014, the cognitive tests showed that she mostly likely had PCA, the visual variant of Alzheimer's. It took a PET scan to show that the level of activity in the back of her brain was reduced and there still wasn't evidence of shrinkage even though we know there were symptoms back in 2012 if not earlier.

    Often people are sent away with a diagnosis of MCI (mild cognitive impairment) and tested again a year or more later.

    There is a lot of research work going on to find reliable methods of diagnosing people earlier, but in the meantime a lot of people are left in limbo. There is clearly something wrong but they are not able to get a diagnosis. Given the state of finances I can't see this changing for the better any time soon. Let's hope it doesn't get any worse ...

    I hope you get a resolution soon. An early diagnosis really does help, provided that the person with dementia is prepared to accept the diagnosis and work with it.

    Sent from my iPad using Talking Point
  7. kazb

    kazb Registered User

    Aug 1, 2015
    i had a mri and nothing showed up. i had a SPEC scan and it was evident i had altzheimers.:mad:
  8. mark2160

    mark2160 Registered User

    Aug 19, 2015
    It would appear that a MRI scan is a bit hit and miss even when the purpose of the scan was to investigate the issue of dementia, and the patient’s illness having been assessed at moderate to severe.
    A big thank you to everyone who replied to my topic and may I wish you all the best on this terrible Journey we are on.
  9. GRIM57

    GRIM57 Registered User

    Mar 29, 2016
    East Anglia
    MRI results

    Hi Mark,

    My partner had been showing signs of memory decline for some years and it took me sometime to get it taken seriously by family and medics. In hindsight and with the information I have taken from the Internet I can see that her symptoms were evident as far back as 2005. In 2011 she was referred to a Specialist in Cambridge and had Cognitive tests and a MRI, the MRI appeared normal and she had a diagnosis of Mild Cognitive Impairment. My OH hated the term MCI and would often exclaim; "it's not Mild to me"! From 2011 to the end of 2014 we visited Cambridge every nine months. In late Jan 2015 we had the offer of a second MRI and visited the Consultant again in April of that year for the results. I have seen the two MRI scans from Late 2011 and January 2015 and the changes are very obvious! To me she had a 30%+ decline in the size of the Hippocampus and a posterior void where the Ventricle and Cortex shrinkage had combined and left a 20 degree wedge of Cortex missing. My OH is now 62 and had three 'normal' MRI scans between 2001 (the first two for a Holmes-Adie Pupil) with only the fourth, in 2015 showing changes. I have the sense I may sound negative on this issue but we now have an idea of what we are dealing with and have drugs that 'help living with PCA/Alzheimer's'. PCA seems to have inflicted considerable damaged but the drugs allow my OH to continue to amaze me with how much she can still do!
  10. Owly

    Owly Registered User

    Jun 6, 2011
    Hi Mark, hopefully they have also done blood tests to rule out other causes? I'm thinking of vitamin/mineral deficiencies, especially B12, and also possibly hypothyroidism.

    Have you tried giving your wife a good general multi-vitamin and mineral tablet? Just a thought. Low iodine intake can affect the thyroid for example.
  11. LadyA

    LadyA Registered User

    Oct 19, 2009
    My husband had a ct scan in 2008, which was normal, although his GP and the Psych of Old Age Consultant knew he had dementia. He was also able to score well on the memory tests, until his dementia was quite advanced. But it was there, and we all knew it.
    He never had another scan. There came a point where there was a sudden deterioration - as if his brain suddenly caught up with the illness.
  12. mark2160

    mark2160 Registered User

    Aug 19, 2015
    Dear all,

    Today finally got the results of my Wife’s CAT scan which confirmed AZ.
    It would appear the reason the MRI scan never picked up the condition was the fact that the scan was blurred due to my Wife not staying still for long enough. ( she was very upset through the whole process )

    Once again thank you to everyone who replied to my post
  13. Rich PCA Carer

    Rich PCA Carer Registered User

    Hi GRIM57,

    You mentioned PCA. If you are referring to posterior cortical atrophy, please have a look at the resources linked under UCL's support group at http://www.ucl.ac.uk/drc/pcasupport

    If you have found this already or been referred to it by health professionals then that is good.

    All the very best for your journey.

    Sent from my iPad using Talking Point

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