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  1. scarlett

    scarlett Registered User

    May 31, 2007
    22
    Derby
    My mum was diagnosed with dementia in 2003 age 56 but scan showed she probably started 3 or 4 years previously. My mum was a single parent (i am 40) and i have no other family. My grandma had schizophrenia and then dementia (died 1997 age 82)
    I always knew my mum was 'different' to other peoples mums but people would say everyone thinks that but i found out last year that my mum was diagnosed with a schzoid personality in 1972 ( i remember going to see the psychiatrist with her because the nurses made me paper clothes for my doll)
    life was very difficult for me.
    When my mum was diagnosed the consultant said there was a high chance i will get it (dementia) too although they havent been able to diagnose cause of it. mum did not have damage in area of brain usual in Alzheimers (hippocampus) but responded very well to aricept which i understand she would not do if this was frontal dementia.
    She is now in late stages of disease.
    I have neither mental illness or personality problems and if there were anything to show that the dementia is related to either of these i must admit i would have more peace of mind (is this bad choice of words?!)
    Can anyone help?
     
  2. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    12,413
    near London
    Hi Scarlett

    Thanks for telling us your story. I'm sorry you are so troubled, yet I understand why of course.

    You ask the impossible I'm afraid when you ask
    Nobody on TP is an expert in mental health.

    I would say however, that in the people I have encountered who have a dementia, none has - to my knowledge - had mental illness or personality problems.

    Since it seems never clear to me who may be susceptible to getting dementia at some stage, I always recommend living for each day. There are so many things that can happen to individuals in the course of their lives that to worry about any or all of them is to detract from quality of life now.

    I know that is all easy to say, harder to do, but in reality for all of us, there isn't really much choice.

    Take care
     
  3. scarlett

    scarlett Registered User

    May 31, 2007
    22
    Derby
    Thank you, i'm new to this and just made straight for yonger persons section. i suppose there are a lot more younger people and families out there than i imagined.
     
  4. zed

    zed Registered User

    Jul 25, 2005
    76
    London
    Hi Scarlett

    My situation is very similar to yours.

    My mother has had mental health problems all her life. She was then diagnosed with dementia aged 57. Her previous mental health problems have nothing to do with getting dementia - it is just bad luck.

    Her mother also had dementia, diagnosed in her late 70s, and died aged 85. My mum's neurologist told us that there is no connection between my mother's dementia and my grandmother's. It is possible for dementia to be genetic, but this is almost always when people get it at a younger age (under 65). So the fact my grandmother also had dementia was just one of those things, as it is quite common at that age (about 1 in 6 people over 80).

    So what I am saying is, as I understand it, your mother would not have inherited dementia from your grandmother, as your grandmother did not have young onset. Which means you can't inherit it from your mother. However, if your mother's father also had young onset dementia, she could have inherited it from him. My mum's father died young, so it is possible that he could have had the gene, and died before he developed it. We'll never know.

    Has your mum been seen by a neurologist?

    I suggest reading the info sheet on genetics: http://www.alzheimers.org.uk/Facts_about_dementia/Genetics/info_genetics.htm

    Also you can read how to lower your chance of developing dementia. Everyone should make these life style changes whatever their family history:
    http://www.alzheimers.org.uk/Facts_about_dementia/Risk_factors/info_amIatrisk.htm
     
  5. scarlett

    scarlett Registered User

    May 31, 2007
    22
    Derby
    Thank you so much for that. my mum did see neurologist but he said to have scan at QMC in Nottingham which would show blood flow between lobes etc and also suggested lumber puncture to rule out CJD. I couldnt put my mum thru lumber puncture as it would have been too traumatic for her and as no cure would mainly have been for my benefit. We didnt get a date for scan until a year later and ther was a relly detailed form to fill in which was essential for clinic but immpossible for me to fill out on her behalf and mum was too bad by then to help. Also as many people have found provision for under 65s is few and far between and after she was sectioned and diagnosed she was put in a residential home 35 miles away which meant she was in a different health authority. when i eventually managed to get her nearer to me she was under yet another consultant. the initial consultant who was a psycho-geriatrician was the one who told me there was a high chance of me getting it in feb 2004 but your responce has really helped me. thanks again
     
  6. katherine

    katherine Registered User

    Sep 5, 2006
    57
    i worried about this a lot a while ago. My mum was diagnosed in her mid fifties. None of my grandparents have had Alzheimer's but none of us know one of my biological grandfathers so who knows?
    Apparently there is one form of early onset AD that is genetic - but it's very very rare - if your parent does have it there's a 50/50 chance you might get it. But it's highly unlikely that your parent would have that. You can be tested to see if you have that gene.
    If your relatives have had AD then the odds that you might get it increase - but as far as i can tell different things can trigger it - and even if you have genes which mean you are more likely to get it than others - you may never trigger it - so never get it.
    Diet, exercise etc all seem to make a difference.
    So it's not all bad news really.
    The link with other mental illness is something i know nothing about. My mum wasn't mentally ill - although she suffered from depression at times.
    I hope this info helps. Sorry it's a bit waffley
    Kate
     
  7. scarlett

    scarlett Registered User

    May 31, 2007
    22
    Derby
    thank you kate,
    I really feel much more positive, i'm so glad i discovered talking point. It helps so much to hear from others, I've felt so alone since mums diagnosis and not only do i feel support now but its also nice to be in a position to support 'back' as things ive gone thru in past 4 years can sometimes help others going thru it now thanks again!
     
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