1. Cracker

    Cracker Registered User

    May 15, 2006
    4
    Hi, I haven't posted before but have read a lot and wanted to start sharing. My mum was diagnosed with alzheimer's in 2001 at the age of 54. My dad tried incredibly hard to look after her at home for as long as possible, but sadly she went in to a specialist care home last August. Since then, her state has deteriorated and she can no longer talk, recognise anyone, or take care of herself. It is extremely sad :( . I wanted to ask today whether anyone else has had experiences of seizures. Last night, we got a call from the home saying that mum had started screaming and when they went to her room she was in a semi conscious state and had blood everywhere, from biting her tongue. The doctors said she had had a seizure. Mum now is fine and can't remember anything. Does this happen a lot? Will it get worse? What can we do about it? Any thoughts would be very appreciated. Thank you.
     
  2. drummer-john

    drummer-john Registered User

    Apr 29, 2005
    18
    Leeds
    Hi Cracker

    I haven't posted before either, but I've been reading the posts for quite a while. My partner Brenda is about the same age as your mum and was diagnosed with AD about 3 years ago. She's been declining very slowly, but a month ago, after behaving oddly for a couple of days, she was sick then had a major seizure - including screaming and biting her tongue. I called the ambulance and she had 3 more seizures that evening in A&E. She was in hospital for 4 days and is now taking an anti-epileptic drug (epanutin) every day, which seems to be working. The doctors say that if it's just an isolated seizure it doesn't mean that there will be any more but, as in Brenda's case, repeated seizures mean that there's a high chance of more and needs to be treated as epilepsy.

    I think you should tell the care home that they must call an ambulance if there's any recurrence. At least if she gets to hospital she can have a complete check-over for infection, mini-stroke, etc that could be causing the problem.

    Apparently it's not common, but it is occasionally a symptom of AD. Not much comfort I'm afraid.

    All the best
    John
     
  3. noelphobic

    noelphobic Registered User

    Feb 24, 2006
    3,452
    Liverpool
    My mum has had seizures a couple of times, although quite far apart and is now on epilepsy medication. Not everyone will have frequent, repeated seizures so it may be a one off in your mum's case hopefully.
     
  4. Cracker

    Cracker Registered User

    May 15, 2006
    4
    Thank you for sharing

    Thank you so much for sharing your experiences.. The home did actually call an ambulance, but my mum wouldn't go with them, so the doctors checked her over in her room. They think it's just another symptom for AD and could possibly be related to the medication she has been taking (haliperidol) to keep her calm. When Mum moved into the home last August she became very aggressive and violent, even going so far as fighting with other residents and breaking her wrist and locking herself in her room. The nurses couldn't even cope with showering her and in the end, haliperidol was prescribed. This has improved Mum's mood considerably and she is now very content in herself and wanders around happily in the home. I guess the seizure could now be a downside.. But as you say, we will have to see whether this is an isolated incident or one of several more to come. :confused: Thanks again for replying, it's comforting to know we are not alone at least in trying to deal with this.
     
  5. McK

    McK Registered User

    Sep 13, 2005
    62
    Pgh. Pa. USA
    Dear Cracker, Somewhat like your mom, my wife was 56 when she was diagnosed with AD. She has had four major seizures and numermous mini seizures since. The first sizure she had was in 2001, and it was so intense that she dislocated both sides of her jaw. She now is on 300MG of carbamazepine a day and it looks like this will have to be increased in the near future. As stated before, all cases are different, but I just wanted to add my perspective. Best Wishs, McK
     
  6. Amy

    Amy Registered User

    Jan 4, 2006
    3,453
    Hiya Drummer john and Cracker,
    Just wanted o welcome you both to TP.
    Love Helen
     
  7. alex

    alex Registered User

    Apr 10, 2006
    1,665
    Hi Cracker

    I have some experience of seizures, my partner developed seizures which at first looked more like a twitch, however they developed into major seizures and epileptic fits within 48 hours, i must point out at this stage that he had brain damage as well as vascular dementia, the brain damage was caused by strokes and being on a life support .........so it may be different for you, however these seizures became continuous for about 10 days, the hospital could not get them under control.
    The point of telling you this is that i spoke to his consultants at length over a 10 day period and they said that the seizures were caused by the strokes he had suffered six months prior to the fits...................they said that strokes begin to heal like any wound and this causes scar tissue on the brain which in turn causes seizures and epileptic fits.
    Is it possible that she has suffered a stroke or mini stroke? sometimes its very difficult to tell as there is no symptoms just a phase of being blank.

    If i was you i would ask to speak to a specialist. Don't be fobbed off.................i'm not knocking the medics but they are good at putting seizures down as unimportant, yet my partner died following these seizures because he inhaled fluid into his lungs causing pneumonia............ remember that the person suffering is unlikely to be able to bring it to anyones attention so its up to you to make sure that its taken seriously.
    I don't mean to sound like doom & gloom and I'm not saying that this will happen, i'm just saying that seizures can have fatal consequences so don't take it too lightly.

    Best wishes
    Love Alex x
     
  8. Cracker

    Cracker Registered User

    May 15, 2006
    4
    Thanks, Alex. I am so sorry to hear about your partner, but really appreciate your advice. I will definitely try and get this investigated further - i hadn't even considered a stroke. You are right, you can so easily get fobbed off and it is a battle sometimes to get taken seriously. Take care x
     
  9. Cracker

    Cracker Registered User

    May 15, 2006
    4
    Thanks to everyone who has posted and for the links, nada. i am really touched by the support. x
     
  10. alex

    alex Registered User

    Apr 10, 2006
    1,665
    Hi Cracker

    I hope i have not worried you, as that was not my intention...............i suppose that what i'm trying to say is that sometimes if you don't show your concern the medics tend to think that your happy with the diagnosis and treatment ............
    if your not, ask to see a specialist, ask questions, tell them about your concerns and as your mum is still fairly young............... insist they investigate the cause.
    Your mum can't tell them herself so its up to you to fight her corner honey..........
    good luck and let us know how she's doing.

    Kind regards
    Alex
     
  11. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,418
    Hmm seizures. Well I'm back following a frantic dash back to the UK as my Mother had one of these (her first as far as we know). Frankly, I have been unable to get a straight answer from any professional. From what I've found out on my own, seizures are a not uncommon side effect of strokes (Mummy had her last 2 strokes in September 05). In her case, she was talking to a carer when the episode occurred, and it was a major one (legs going everywhere, bitten tongue, loss of conciousness for over an hour etc). In fact she stopped breathing for a while, had to be intubated and was hospitalized for a week. Possible cause was a UTI (put on her intake notes, but not treated by the hospital until 4 days later, can you believe), or possibly constipation (go figure). Although we tend to think of epilepsy as something that occurs in childhood, actually there are more new diagnoses in the elderly. I put my foot down and she is now on tegretol (the normal procedure is to wait for another seizure before medicating, but I pointed out his one almost killed her and it was just chance there was someone with her when it happened, so they should medicate now rather than waiting). Hospitals are, as far as I can see, bad news for patients with dementia. While there they lost her dentures, she fell and cracked the back of her head, and came out with full blown depression (tears all the time). Antidepressants have made some difference, but they are trying to get the correct dosage.

    Jennifer
     

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