Stroke and Alzheimers-To test or not?

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by Ashburton, Aug 22, 2007.

  1. Ashburton

    Ashburton Registered User

    Feb 19, 2007
    We went to specialist today, my mum has got worse over the last few weeks, she also has had a UTI , not sure if this has cleared up yet. Anyway when asked as to why my mum had suddenly got worse he suggested the following:

    1. The UTI
    2. New medication she was on
    3. Just progress of AD.
    4. Stroke.

    When I asked could we clarify if it had been a stroke through a scan he suggested that this would not be a good idea as firstly the scan process may upset/agitate my mum and that there would be no benefit to knowing.

    Has anyone had similar experiences/comments.

  2. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    My mother had mini strokes and never had a scan. She developed vascular dementia. I`m ashamed to say I don`t know which came first.
    I suppose a scan is only worthwhile if the condition can be helped with medication.
  3. elaineo2

    elaineo2 Registered User

    Jul 6, 2007
    leigh lancashire
    Hi Ashburton, I really don't understand why knowing that your mum had had a stoke would not benefit anyone.Surely knowing that she has had one would alert you to the symptoms if this should occur again.TIA's can occur without detection(first aid training comes in handy) but if there is a significant change in their condition then i would want investigations doing.take care love elainex
  4. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    NW England
    My mother had had known mini-strokes and had vascular dementia ruled out by a scan ...... the effect of that 'ruling out' was that she was prescribed (and thankfully got) Aricept ..... (and that Alz + LBD was diagnosed ......)

    I have to say, the scan WAS traumatic for her (and I was not prepared) - but for half a day's pain - I guess we have already gained at least twelve months grace ..... I understand had vascular problems been proven she would have been denied Aricept?

    I'm sorry but I can't see any logic in 'not knowing' .... when mum had scans and investigations for cancer in recent months I came to realise there would be no option for treatment/cure but the 'knowing' would have made even palliative care plans more appropriately suited to her needs .....

    Sorry to be so blunt, but you sound like you are being 'fobbed off' .... something I have felt many times with mum ...... very difficult when you are trying to challenge consultants .... but they are only objectively involved ...... you know your mum best and what is best for her,

    I wish you strength,

    Love Karen, x
  5. springtime

    springtime Registered User

    Apr 25, 2007
    Milton Keynes
    Stroke or Alzheimers - to test or not

    I think that firstly it is important to make sure your mother is clear of a UTI infection as that can have a detrimental effect on her. It is important to get a water sample checked to make sure the infection has gone. Secondly, could a different medication be used that will not cause confusion. Perhaps a scan would help to differentiate between Alzheimers or Dementia - perhaps a mild sedative to calm her nerves while having the scan? At the end of the day, you probably know what is best for your Mother. If you want something done, then be strong and fend her corner.
  6. Ashburton

    Ashburton Registered User

    Feb 19, 2007
    #6 Ashburton, Aug 23, 2007
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2007
    Thanks for the replies. My mum had a scan back in 2003 which determined she had AD. The sudden change in mums condition has shocked us. I suppose we are looking for answers, maybe more hoping than anything else.When my mums speech went the first thing that entered my mind was could she have had a stroke.
    My mum has just finished her medication for the uat, so have been told by gp to wait one week and get tested again.
    I was very surprised that the specialist said that a scan would be pretty pointless, maybe the fact that we know she has AD, would this be a reason? I'm not a medical person but believe that if there is a possibility my mum had a stroke, then there has to be some benefit to knowing. I am due to talk to specialist again on Thursday as I never told my mum she had AD and so could not talk that openly today. I also intend to talk to our GP nxt week when I drop my mums sample off
  7. Valk

    Valk Registered User

    Nov 14, 2006

    Hi There,

    My Mum had an ITA over the weekend and it lasted for 30 mins. The GP put her on Persantin Retard. This is to prevent another. He advised not to scan as it would stress her out so much it could bring another one much worse. So it's really dificult to say whats best. I personally would not go down the " not again" hospital route .

    re Valk:eek:
  8. christine_batch

    christine_batch Registered User

    Jul 31, 2007
    Scan or not to Scan

    With my husband's Alzheimer's, he has over the last 4 years had quite a lot of mild strokes. About 6 months ago it was very serious when Peter did have a further one. the Paramedics came and Peter was admitted to Hospital. First they were going to do a scan then I was informed that due to A.D. it was not safe for him to have it, due I was told to ?further damage to the brain???. They also suspected him of having a anarisiam. So after 5 days of observation the Hospital told me he was better off at home with me as I had been coping. I am registered disabled, lost for words, unusual for me but too tired to take them on, so my daughter and I brought him home. I know of so many people who have experienced the same as us and really they do not know themselves the best route to go down. I always remember, Peter's Consultant (Who also did A.D. Research) tell me that they can learn a lot from the Carers'. So unfortunately, it is another issue given to us to deal with and worry over. Best wishes. Christine
  9. Lucille

    Lucille Registered User

    Sep 10, 2005
    Hello Ashburton

    Sorry to hear your news. This whole illness is a minefield. When mum had her scan it showed atrophy in common with her age but not a lot else. The consultant said there had probably been strokes deep in the brain that didn't show up on the scan.

    I was told she had AD and VaD. Because of the former, she was prescribed medication. I think Karen is correct that if it had just been the latter, she would not have got the drugs.

    However, I have never been convinced of the AD diagnosis. If the brain showed atrophy in common with her age, what exactly does that mean?! He said there were no 'obvious' signs of stroke (on the scan) but there had 'probably' been at least one. All very woolly and all couched in non-commital medical speak, which I think is what you've received.

    Mum is being taken off her AD meds (Exelon) as they weren't doing her any good. Generally, she seems to be less 'hyper.' Otherwise she is forgetful but does not have language problems, or issues with washing/dressing/wandering. What she has lost is the sense of being rational, empathetic and, of course, remembering what she ate for her dinner. She does suffer from short dizzy spells and her short term memory is quite dire.

    It's a tough call and I hope you can sort something out which is least distressing for your mum (and you).

    Take care.
  10. Sunlight

    Sunlight Registered User

    Feb 12, 2007
    When I queried whether my mum had vd or ad the cpn basically told me that the NHS has limited funds and as these scans are very expensive they would not spend money on such a scan for my mum just to satisfy my curiosity.
  11. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    #11 Margarita, Aug 23, 2007
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2007

    I can't believe that just because someone has been told they have AD, they can't have a brain scan to find out if they have had a stroke

    sorry , but that make me so angry:mad:
    Sorry , but that rubbish , every one with AZ is different

    when my mother had a brain scan last year after a bang on the head , it did not upset/agitate, her that so generalising people with AZ, saying that

    I would be pushing for brain scan , I would not care about how much it cost . I would be asking why is my mother treated different, just because she has AZ .

    then if someone that did not have AZ , and they thought they had a stroke , they would get a brain scan so, should my mother
  12. Margaret W

    Margaret W Registered User

    Apr 28, 2007
    North Derbyshire
    Brain Scan

    Maybe I am wrong, but what is the risk of a brain scan? My mum had one, there was no problem, it took about 3 minutes. I have had one myself too, about 4 years ago. Is there some severe risk of having brain scans? I know there is a risk with X-Rays, but usually the knowledge that is obtained outweighs the slight risk of the procedure.

    Maybe I am a bit slow.

  13. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    near London
    Hi Margaret
    I don't believe there is a medical risk from the process, in any way. It is what the patient goes through in having the scan.

    It depends on the type of scan what the person goes through.

    My Jan had them all. The MRI was worst in terms of time and comfort. [I've had one myself, on my back, so I know]

    The brain MRI requires a helmet on the head, and the person slides into a narrow tunnel. The noise of the machine is very loud. All confusing enough to someone with comprehension problems.

    When Jan had hers, it was at an early stage of her condition, so she could think rationally. All the same, I sat outside the scanner, holding her hand as well as I could for the whole time.

    For someone at later stages it might be terrifying.

    The other scans are not uncomfortable at all though the EEG might cause problems to someone who is advanced.
  14. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    #14 Margarita, Aug 24, 2007
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2007
  15. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    near London
    The scanners look different, work differently and show different things.

    MRI shows soft tissue, and brain is soft tissue of course.

    machines look similar - I don't remember the CT scanner making as much noise as the MRI... too long ago :(

    I agree it is best to ask people who actually know about it - I don't think either of us know enough to advise at that level... :)

    As we always say - there are no experts on TP

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  16. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    #16 Margarita, Aug 24, 2007
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2007
    your so right :)

    My daughter had a EEG , god never seen anything like it in real life , so many wire put on her head found it harder to see her like that then when mum had CT in 03 , 06 EGG that was for brain waves , then she had CT scan , mum could never of sat so still with so many wires on her brain .

    then my brother had CT few weeks back, some how you just cope , thank my lucky stars that I am OK
  17. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    Dhiren had a CT scan and was out in a very short time.

    I had a MRI scan, for a growth on a Parathyroid Gland, had to lie perfectly still for 30 minutes, have 1 hour off, then go back for another 30 minutes worth.

    The scanner was right over my face and neck and if it hadn`t been for Yoga Breathing, I would have found it dreadfully claustrophobic and been unable to resist scratching my nose. :)
  18. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    lol :D @

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