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Mums "episodes" being caused by deterioration, infection, epilepsy or what?

Adoralan

Registered User
Mar 2, 2021
58
0
Hi all,
My mum has Alzheimer's and has had a long recovery from severe Covid. Before she had Covid mum had an episode one day when we were out. We had visited a cafe and had gone back to my car and were driving home, when she said she had a bad stomach ache and felt ill and dizzy. She then lost consciousness, her head lolled back, she went rigid and made gurgling noises. I managed to pull in to a safe place and call an ambulance. The loss of consciousness lasted about 2 minutes. When she came round she vomited repeatedly, and had lost control of her bladder (not usual at that time). She was taken to hospital (couldn't go with her due to Covid restrictions) and it was dismissed as motion sickness, which she has never had in her life! Several months later the same kind of episode occurred, she had gone downstairs (even though she felt dizzy) whilst I was in the bathroom and was seated in a chair when she said she felt as though she was falling. Once again she passed out for a couple of minutes, sick when she came round. I called an ambulance again, paramedics came and took her to hospital. I gave a full description of what had happened (not allowed to go in with her due to Covid restrictions). Once again she was discharged after various tests with no cause found. When I spoke to the GP surgery none of the details I had provided had been recorded on her medical records.

Months on my mum is now living with my sister. She rang last night to say mum had another episode, this time more severe (unresponsive for approx 15 minutes) When she came around my sister and her husband had been told by 999 dispatcher not to allow mum to get up (she was in a chair) and mum was disorientated, kept trying to get up and was fighting my sister and her husband, digging her nails into them to try to get out of the chair. By the time she got to the hospital she was recovered, sat doing crosswords whilst waiting to see the doctor. Possible UTI was diagnosed.

I know there can be a link between dementia and epilepsy. To me, these episodes look like a seizure. The first time I thought she was having a stroke and my sister thought the same when she saw it happen yesterday. I asked the GP after the second episode whether epilepsy could be a possible cause, as she was due to have an MRI as part of her formal dementia diagnosis and I wondered if a seizure would show up. They said yes but we haven't been told that anything showed up on the MRI other than the brain deterioration due to dementia. Any thoughts or advice welcome, just wondering what on earth is going on.
 

nae sporran

Volunteer Host
Oct 29, 2014
8,236
0
Bristol
I am just an electronics technician out of my depth as a carer, but does look familiar. My partner has vascular dementia diagnosed after a stroke and since then she has had two seizures and a mini stroke / TIA. The hospital put her on epilepsy medication after the seizure 8 years ago and she has only had one since and that was about 7 years ago. Not sure what to advise as without POA or any kind of authority from your mum to act on her behalf at her GP they will cite privacy and data protection.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
15,702
0
South coast
Hi @Adoralan ,

My OH has epilepsy and I must say that is what I thought of when I read your post. You can't diagnose epilepsy just from a description,through, nor can you from an MRI - you need to have an EEG which will pick up any abnormal brain activity and/or seizures. Have another word with your GP.
 

Adoralan

Registered User
Mar 2, 2021
58
0
Thanks for your responses. My sister and I do both have POA health as well as finances, so that's not a problem. Mum now living with my sister in Scotland, I am down south so we only talk by phone/Skype. They are down here soon for a meeting with dementia wellbeing so perhaps I can arrange something then. How long after the event will an EEG show seizure? I think mum may have had EEG at some point but I'm not sure.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
15,702
0
South coast
Thanks for your responses. My sister and I do both have POA health as well as finances, so that's not a problem. Mum now living with my sister in Scotland, I am down south so we only talk by phone/Skype. They are down here soon for a meeting with dementia wellbeing so perhaps I can arrange something then. How long after the event will an EEG show seizure? I think mum may have had EEG at some point but I'm not sure.
If someone is getting seizures the EEG will pick up even a small seizure that cannot be seen when watching them, but even if there are no seizures during the test the EEG will pick up abnormal brain activity. For example, my OH has slow waves in the frontal lobe and spike waves in the temporal lobe which shows that he is getting epilepsy from the temporal lobe.