When to worry and when to get tested?

Discussion in 'Welcome and how to use Dementia Talking Point' started by DocKev, May 31, 2019.

  1. DocKev

    DocKev New member

    May 31, 2019
    2
    Hi, I'm new to this forum but thought it might be useful. My mother has Alzheimer's - she was diagnosed 10 years ago when she was 63. Her father also had Alzheimer's and developed it at a similar age. As a geneticist, I know this isn't conclusive proof of genetic tendency but it doesn't look great! I'm now 43 and am already starting to worry about the way I can't find the right words, forget friends names (I do remember them eventually), forget conversations.... I'm interested in what other people feel about having cognitive tests for an early diagnosis, when you would, what experience you might have had of them. I should add that I am on anti-convulsants and a tiny dose of anti-depressants and am aware that these will also be having effect but the former I have been on since I was 5 (with no significant side effects) and the latter for about 6 years and it's only now that I'm noticing real changes. Any thoughts welcome.
     
  2. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    9,621
    Female
    South coast
    Hello @DocKev and welcome to Talking Point
    You are young to develop even early onset Alzheimers, but I dont think that there is anything to stop you asking for tests and it might put your mind at rest.

    One thing that occurs to me is this - are you your mothers carer?
    I am 62 and frequently wonder whether I am developing dementia because I keep forgetting things/people, get muddled and losing words. In my case, though, its just the stress of caring.
     
  3. DocKev

    DocKev New member

    May 31, 2019
    2
    Hi Canary, No I'm not my Mum's carer. My 74-year old father is her full time carer. He talks about the same things you mention and thinks he's heading the same way as her; but yes, I think it is the incredible stress he is under and lack of sleep from disrupted nights.
     
  4. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    9,621
    Female
    South coast
    There are actually quite a few things that can cause dementia-like symptoms. Stress is an obvious one, but other things like thyroid problems, hormone imbalance and vitamin deficiencies can do it too - there is, of course, treatment for these and a simple blood test can pick most of them up.
     
  5. lis66

    lis66 Registered User

    Aug 7, 2015
    222
    Hi Dockev my grandmother had Alzheimer's in her early seventies my mother now has Alzheimer's for the past six years, this horrundeous illness terrifies me,and I have often thought about genetic testing ,but would I really want to know ,and how do you live with the outcome it's scary really scary xx
     
  6. Tea and. toast

    Tea and. toast New member

    May 8, 2019
    7
    Hi Doc Kev I am fairly new to this forum too. Canary has covered some of the other possible causes of memory loss. My relative went through a range of tests before being referred to the memory clinic Just to say that sometimes I have forgotten things both at home and at work which is a bit worrying, probably lack of sleep for me and the stress sometimes of caring for my relative. I am having to write lists to try and remember things to be done. When I was young I could cope more with lack of sleep than I can now. I hope you can sound out your concerns with someone and any others who can share their experience early testing. Take care.
     
  7. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    9,621
    Female
    South coast
    Most dementia is not genetic in origin, so genetic testing probably wont actually tell you anything useful.
    My mum had Alzheimers and I hope I dont get it, but Ive had a chat with my children to say what i would like, Even though I will probably change my mind if dementia takes hold, at least my children will know what the "old" me would have wanted. Ive also made my will and organised POA - just in case. Just live each day at a time.
     
  8. Normaleila

    Normaleila Registered User

    Jun 4, 2016
    636
    We didn't watch Casualty for several months. When we wanted to catch up on iplayer only the last 4 episodes were available. The first of those showed Duffy announcing she has dementia.
    I know some members of the forum were diagnosed quite early and are able to discuss their. situation and plan for the future - but I don't know how you'd get diagnosed that early. Wish I'd seen how Duffy was diagnosed. Was it realistic?
     
  9. Lawson58

    Lawson58 Registered User

    My husband's mother had Alzheimer's, dying at the age of 72, only 3 years after diagnosis.

    He was diagnosed with Alzheimer's nearly 5 years ago but he sounds completely different to what his mum was like. His younger siblings have short term memory problems but this again is different how he experiences it.

    He started having massive cardiac issues about 16 years ago and numerous other health problems since then.
    He has never smoked, been vegetarian for years and was physically active, running marathons and playing tennis. Going on his profile he should never been a candidate for cardio problems and the geriatrician and neuropsychologist can't even decide what variant of Alzheimer's he has. Genetic factors? Nothing like his mother's condition so unlikely.

    There's much the so called experts don't know about Alzheimer's in spite of the money that's been thrown at it. I think you should run your concerns past your GP. There's no harm in getting tests done and you may find that once you are reassured, you will be able to shed the stress you are having.
     
  10. Fullticket

    Fullticket Registered User

    Apr 19, 2016
    460
    Chard, Somerset
    My mum had dementia, as did her sister and brother, so I am naturally concerned for myself and family and think that in, a fair world, I would get myself tested to see if there is anything to be picked up. On the other hand, if I did get myself tested and there were some tangles or obvious signs of problems, would I be required to report this to insurance companies, DVLA, etc - and where would that leave me? I am also curious why they all got the same type of dementia with exactly the same symptoms. Lifestyle? Genes? Living with a pylon in the back garden at a young age (seriously, I do wonder!)?
    That said, I started to forget people's names and could not recollect words at around the time of the menopause. So was that hormones, vitamins? Who knows? I did an MA around that time and lots of words came back with practice. In fact I read it now and wonder that I knew so many long words...
    I tend to lose weight with stress and now that I no longer have the stress of looking after a PWD my weight has piled on. So maybe stress affects you in a different way?
    Sorry, more questions than answers!
     

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