• All threads and posts regarding Coronavirus COVID-19 can be found in our area specifically for Coronavirus COVID-19 discussion.

    You can directly access this area >here<.

Strange symptoms?

Aureliana

New member
Feb 12, 2021
3
0
Hi all,

My mother (73) was recently diagnosed with early alzheimer's, but I find her symptoms different from most stories. Her main symptom that comes and goes periodically is that she does not recognize her husband (my father). She recognizes and remembers the names of all the others, both young and old relatives, but thinks her closest companion is a stranger. Her short-term memory is also good. She remembers what we talked about on these phone the previous day etc. She does not have a urine infection.

Any thoughts about the situation? Is this how alzheimer's can start or could this be something else? The diagnosis is based on a memory test and a MRI scan.

Thanks for the help,
Aura
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
74,663
0
Kent
Hello @Aureliana There were times when my husband didn`t recognise me but it was spasmodic.

There were times when he seemed to know who I was but I never asked him, it was enough he accepted me and didn`t see me as an intruder or needed to search for his real wife.

Is this a permanent behaviour with your mother or random?
 

Aureliana

New member
Feb 12, 2021
3
0
Hello @Aureliana There were times when my husband didn`t recognise me but it was spasmodic.

There were times when he seemed to know who I was but I never asked him, it was enough he accepted me and didn`t see me as an intruder or needed to search for his real wife.

Is this a permanent behaviour with your mother or random?
This sounds a bit similar. She can be "normal" for days and then this behaviour shows up again. It can also be that everything is ok during the day and in the evening she suddenly thinks a strange man is in her house. It is very tough for my father.

Is this common in mild/early alzheimers? Or does this actually mean that she may be further in the process than what the tests show?
 

Sarasa

Volunteer Host
Apr 13, 2018
3,920
0
Hi @Aureliana and welcome to Dementia Talking Point. If your mother's behaviour often changes in the evening I wonder if she is sundowning. This fact sheet has useful information about it.
Sundowning and dementia | Alzheimer's Society
It might be a good idea to close the curtains early in the winter and ensure the lighting is bright, as shadows can be misinterpreted as people.
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
74,663
0
Kent
Is this common in mild/early alzheimers? Or does this actually mean that she may be further in the process than what the tests show?

It does sound like sundowning as @Sarasa suggested. I'm not sure if there is a specific stage when it happens nor can I remember when it started with my husband. It did seem to go on for a long time and was mainly due to sundowning. It was upsetting and challenging and I was lucky to have our son who I could call on to take over until the episodes passed.

My husband never failed to know our son or get him mixed up with anyone else.
 

Arthur ASCII

Registered User
Jan 17, 2019
67
0
Northamptonshire, UK
Hi all,

My mother (73) was recently diagnosed with early alzheimer's, but I find her symptoms different from most stories. Her main symptom that comes and goes periodically is that she does not recognize her husband (my father). She recognizes and remembers the names of all the others, both young and old relatives, but thinks her closest companion is a stranger. Her short-term memory is also good. She remembers what we talked about on these phone the previous day etc. She does not have a urine infection.

Any thoughts about the situation? Is this how alzheimer's can start or could this be something else? The diagnosis is based on a memory test and a MRI scan.

Thanks for the help,
Aura
Hi Aura. There is no "one size fits all" in dementia. Just as every person is unique, everyone's journey into dementia is unique also.
 

Aureliana

New member
Feb 12, 2021
3
0
Yes, I can understand each case can be different and as a newbie that sounds like a bit easy solution. Could it also be that there is just too little understanding of the whole spectrum of different types of dementia and measuring their progress?

I have looked through different threads about sundowning and this definitely could be what is going on with my mom (now every day, and sometimes all day several days). But I'm still wondering if there is something that can be done about it. Is it common to get some medication to be taken when the situation is on? Or do people normally just hang on there and try to manage to the next day?
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
16,138
0
South coast
But I'm still wondering if there is something that can be done about it. Is it common to get some medication to be taken when the situation is on? Or do people normally just hang on there and try to manage to the next day?
It depends how bad it is. There is no medication to stop the sundowning and the confusion that comes with it, but if your mum becomes very distressed or agitated during this time there is medication that can calm her down. If she is just simply confused and not recognising your dad then most people just sit it out.
You might find this thread helpful in knowing how to deal with it during this time.
 

Lawson58

Registered User
Aug 1, 2014
2,603
0
Victoria, Australia
Yes, I can understand each case can be different and as a newbie that sounds like a bit easy solution. Could it also be that there is just too little understanding of the whole spectrum of different types of dementia and measuring their progress?

I have looked through different threads about sundowning and this definitely could be what is going on with my mom (now every day, and sometimes all day several days). But I'm still wondering if there is something that can be done about it. Is it common to get some medication to be taken when the situation is on? Or do people normally just hang on there and try to manage to the next day?
I couldn't agree more about the spectrum of different types of dementia, including Alzheimer's. My husband has a diagnosis of Alzheimer's but he is unlike anyone else on Talking Point. He always knows who I am, his short term memory is beginning to get a bit foggy, he doesn' t sundown but he cannot recall the first 30+ years of his life. And his paranoia can be really difficualt at times.

His first diagnosis after scans and neuropsychological testing was of atypical Alzheimer's but since then it has been fronto variant, non amnesiac' and now they just say it is non classical. In other words, no one has a clue.

Take a deep breath, keep an open mind and be ready to adapt as your mum changes.

And welcome.