• Expert Q&A: Rare dementias - Tues 3 March, 3-4pm

    Our next expert Q&A will be on the topic of rare dementias. It will be hosted by Nikki and Seb from Rare Dementia Support. If you have any questions about rare dementias, they will be here to answer them on Tuesday 3 March between 3-4pm.

    You can either post your question >here< or email them to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll be happy to ask them on your behalf.

Newbie with a question

Risa

Registered User
Apr 13, 2015
483
Essex
Hello all :)

I have been lurking for a little bit but as things are progressing with my Mum's dementia, I feel I need to start interacting now as this forum has already been invaluable in my education so far.

My Mum has received a phone call saying she will be getting an appointment at the Memory Clinic and the person mentioned an MRI which has upset her. For background info my Mum lives with my Dad who is her main carer but my sister & I are close by & help where we can. Apart from being continent, Mum needs assistance with day to day living & I believe that my Mum is probably moderate to severe now - she can go in & out of each category depending on the sort of day she is having. Mum is currently not on any meds for dementia although she does take an anti depressant for another condition which I think helps with keeping her in a fairly calm state.

My question is - is the MRI necessary? As she has no short term memory at all, I am worried that a scan will be very distressing for her as she will not be able to understand what is going on & family members won't be with her (she is very clingy to Dad & gets anxious when he is not around, even if it is for a short while). Apart from not getting an exact diagnosis as to what type of dementia she has, is there any benefit to having the scan? Can the Memory Clinic diagnose without her having this?

Thanks in advance for any advice received :)

Risa
 

marionq

Registered User
Apr 24, 2013
6,016
Scotland
My husband got on fine with the MRI as the staff handled it well. Try not to worry too much as they would almost certainly stop if she were getting upset. She will pick up,on your anxiety so be bright and breezy about it.
 

stanleypj

Registered User
Dec 8, 2011
10,707
North West
Hello Risa and welcome to TP.

I think your fears are justified. You are in a good position to judge how your mum is likely to react. It's probably unnecessary anyway. Now they have these expensive machines they just can't resist using them - 'boys and their toys'.:)
 

nitram

Registered User
Apr 6, 2011
19,739
North Manchester
As well as showing the extent of atrophy of the brain an MRI can to some extent show vascular damage, these results may help with prescribing medication.

An MRI can also rule out the presence of a tumour, benign or otherwise.
 

Julia B

Registered User
Apr 13, 2015
80
hello

try not to worry, my MIL went for a scan and she fears being out, new people, any changes...but they handled it all so gently, she was in and out so quickly, and whilst we were waiting to go in I talked her through photos on my phone as a distraction. It showed us she hadn't had a stroke and what sort of dementia she has, soit was useful, and bear in mind they do this all the time so are very skilled at handling our fragile loved ones :)
 

Summerheather

Registered User
Feb 22, 2015
160
The scan is able to help tell the Consultant what type of dementia they have and what tablets could work best. My mum is scared of change and everything, but they made it non threatening and were very kind.
 

Risa

Registered User
Apr 13, 2015
483
Essex
Thanks everyone

Thank you for your comments :) If Mum is reassured by the staff then hopefully it could go ahead (we won't push only gently encourage) but if she refuses then we won't pursue it. We think she has had dementia for at least 7 years so not stroke or tumour. Just waiting for the appointment date for the memory clinic now!
 

Jellybean8

Registered User
Jan 12, 2015
11
Glasgow
My Mum had and MRI which didnt pinpoint her exact type of dementia but it gives a useful baseline for later comparison. I would say it is def worth your Mum having this - try to advise her that it doesnt last too long and will help to formulate a treatment plan for her.


Hello all :)

I have been lurking for a little bit but as things are progressing with my Mum's dementia, I feel I need to start interacting now as this forum has already been invaluable in my education so far.

My Mum has received a phone call saying she will be getting an appointment at the Memory Clinic and the person mentioned an MRI which has upset her. For background info my Mum lives with my Dad who is her main carer but my sister & I are close by & help where we can. Apart from being continent, Mum needs assistance with day to day living & I believe that my Mum is probably moderate to severe now - she can go in & out of each category depending on the sort of day she is having. Mum is currently not on any meds for dementia although she does take an anti depressant for another condition which I think helps with keeping her in a fairly calm state.

My question is - is the MRI necessary? As she has no short term memory at all, I am worried that a scan will be very distressing for her as she will not be able to understand what is going on & family members won't be with her (she is very clingy to Dad & gets anxious when he is not around, even if it is for a short while). Apart from not getting an exact diagnosis as to what type of dementia she has, is there any benefit to having the scan? Can the Memory Clinic diagnose without her having this?

Thanks in advance for any advice received :)

Risa
 

stanleypj

Registered User
Dec 8, 2011
10,707
North West
My Mum had and MRI which didnt pinpoint her exact type of dementia but it gives a useful baseline for later comparison.
So your mum will have to be put through another MRI scan at some later date just so that a comparison can be made? I don't really understand that. You will know if and how her condition has deteriorated won't you?
 

BR_ANA

Registered User
Jun 27, 2012
1,082
Brazil
On early stage my mom had a MRI. Last October (5 years later first MRI) she didn't wake up for hours. A&E wanted to do an emergency brain surgery. I found the first MRI. It calmed down the hospital medical staff. (Mom waked up and is living on stage 7a-b)

On intermediary stage my mom needed sedation to go trough a MRI. (She had a bad fall)

There are some MRI equipment that work on "open field", that she must not be so nervous. If she could understand.

The sound on a MRI is loud ( I had a neck MRI last year). Now I understand why my mom needed sedation.
 

Not so Rosy

Registered User
Nov 30, 2013
578
When Dad had an MRI the staff were very kind. He ate the waiting room out of muffins and cookies and stole all the daily papers.

I just had to help him into a gown then the nurses took over. Dad snoozed through the whole thing.