1. Expert Q&A: Benefits - Weds 23 October, 3-4pm

    Our next expert Q&A will be on the topic of benefits. It will be hosted by Lauren from our Knowledge Services team. She'll be answering your questions on Wednesday 23 October 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.

  1. wimbledon7

    wimbledon7 Registered User

    May 27, 2007
    29
    england
    hi, my wife o 51 years was recently diagnosed with AD but she does not have much memory loss. Her problems sem to be one of co-ordination; she has problems putting on her clothes the right way and she tends to 'shufle' her feet when she walks. Could this be Vascular Dementia? -thanks
     
  2. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,439
    Hi wimbledon and welcome to TP.

    As you probably know the diagnosis of the various forms of dementia is as much an art as a science, and often involves excuding things to reach a suspected diagnosis. For example Alzheimer's disease can really only be definitively diagnosed by autopsy: however there are various tools that are used to try and reach this diagnosis. Did your wife have any CT scans? Sometimes they can show generalized shrinkage of the brain, an that seems to be indicative of AD. Alternatively a CT scan might show damage from major or minor strokes. Lots of people end up with a diagnosis of mixed (both vascular and AD). There is a saying on TP that when you've seen one AD sufferer you've seen one AD sufferer: not everyone has every symptom, and not always in the same order. A lack of spatial awareness and shuffling can be a symptom of all the dementias so it doen't necessarily mean one thing or the other.

    I just did a quick search and there have been several studies done that indicate that this lack of coordination can be a very early symptom of AD, and such symptoms can indicate an increased likelihood of falls.

    I'm by no means an expert on this, however. You might want to look at the fact sheets on this website http://www.alzheimers.org.uk/Facts_about_dementia/factsheets.htm

    Best wishes

    Jennifer
     
  3. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    69,578
    Kent
    Hello Wimbledon, welcome.

    Your wife is very young to have AD and I`d like to offer my sincere commiserations. I presume she had all the possible tests before the diagnosis was given.

    I don`t think anyone here has the expertise to tell you whether or not she has VaD, your consultant might, and you may find more useful information on the Factsheets Jennifer has identified for you.

    Try to stay with TP though, as many members are caring for those with VaD and you might be able to identify with some of them.
     
  4. wimbledon7

    wimbledon7 Registered User

    May 27, 2007
    29
    england
    Vascular demetia

    Hi, thanks for your responses. my wife has had brain scans but i don't know if there is shrinkage of the brain, all i do know is that there is a 'lot of fluid' in the brain, ameloid i think. Her co-ordination and spatial awareness is poor and she is presently taking Exelon tablets. Having this at 51 years old is very young i know and dificult on daughters 12 and 14 but they try and help around the house. we have applied for DLA benefit etc. My wife seems worse at night when she becomes increasingly dis-orientated but ok in the mornings!
    thanks.
     
  5. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,439
    I assume they have ruled out a condition called Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus? This is when fluid builds up in the brain and causes gait disturbances and dementia. Here is a link that describes it http://www.asbah.org/2-87-158.aspx.

    I am a little confused about your mention of amyloid. AD is characterised by a build up of amyloid plaques in the brain. Recent research has indicated that when CSF (cerebrospinal fluid) is analysed in AD patients, those with amyloid plaques show a correspondingly low level of amyloid beta 42. Did they actually drain any CSF and perform tests on it?

    I want to stress I am merely speculating here - nobody here is qualifyed to make any form of diagnosis and this condition is very rare. However AD in someone as young as your wife is very rare as well, and if it were me, I would want to make sure they had ruled out any potentially treatable causes.

    Jennifer
     
  6. wimbledon7

    wimbledon7 Registered User

    May 27, 2007
    29
    england
    Hi Jennifer,

    thanks for your response. No, my wife has not had any flid drained. I'm not sure what this build up of fluid is but thought it was ameyloid. sans have shown this.we have another appt with Consultant soon so may find out more. she does have a shuffling walking gait and slurred speech sometimes but not always. Alzheimers must be difficult to diagnose if t mimics other illnesses!
    regards,
     
  7. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,439
    Dear Wimbledon

    When you speak to the consultant do try to make sure they have ruled out everything else. I feel I should also point out that extra fluid in the brain might be less a symptom than a result: if the brain has been damaged in some way either through trauma, a stroke or in fact AD, there may be shrinkage. In that case there will be increased fluid levels since that's the way the body works: smaller brain means more CSF is needed to fill the space. Rereading what you wrote, I imagine it is possible that when you were told there was extra fluid with amyloid, what they meant to say that there was evidence of extra fluid and amyloid plaques or tangles, which I'm sorry to say does sound like AD.

    If you would like, you might care to post in the main support forum http://www.alzheimers.org.uk/TalkingPoint/discuss/forumdisplay.php?f=2 more people read that and if you have any other questions, you'll get more responses. Also the Younger people with dementia forum http://www.alzheimers.org.uk/TalkingPoint/discuss/forumdisplay.php?f=8 gets a lot of posts from other carers of young-onset sufferers.

    Best wishes

    Jennifer
     
  8. Áine

    Áine Registered User

    I've taken the liberty of moving this for you Wimbledon. Jennifer's suggestion was a good one ......... your thread is more likely to be seen and responded to here.
     
  9. wimbledon7

    wimbledon7 Registered User

    May 27, 2007
    29
    england
    hi, ok thanks! my wife is still on Exelon tablets. co-ordination not too good, sometimes gets muddled.
     
  10. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,439
    Hi wimbledon, and welcome back.

    I imagine you've seen the consultant again - have you had any further news?

    Jennifer
     
  11. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    10,824
    london
    Just seen this thread am also wondering have you seen the

    How are your children coping & yourself ?
     
  12. wimbledon7

    wimbledon7 Registered User

    May 27, 2007
    29
    england
    a.d.

    hi, seeing the consultant next week
     
  13. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    69,578
    Kent
    Please let us know how you get on.
     

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