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Avatar universal

Seeking help. Dementia. Diagnosis?

My father has just recently turned 50 and has been showing serious signs of dementia. He is a very prideful person, so getting help is sometimes an issue with him; therefore, I am turning to the internet for some insight.

Lately, he has been having a seriously hard time differentiating between reality and his dreams. Usually, believing events have taken place, such as arguments and conversations, that have never occurred. He also has a rough time with short term memory, which is making me believe that he is in the early stages of Alzheimer's.

But he has also has other issues which may be linked to something bigger. He is an alcoholic, again prideful so he doesn't want to do anything about it. But he has also had serious nervous system problems in the past, such as a couple slip discs and sciatic nerve damage (caused neuropathy is his leg/foot) which required surgery to help. Lately, he has looked very fragile. His arms shake frequently, often preventing him from holding objects.

Over the past year, both my father's mental health and physical health have seemed to be going down. I'm thinking that the dementia, twitches/shakes, and other things have been caused by a compounding of excessive drinking and his neurological issues; but I'm wondering if there is a possibility that there is something bigger happening. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
3 Responses
Avatar universal
I just went throu that myself. My family all thought I was having dementia. I would shake and jerk with no control at all. I couldn't remember much of anything.when I was put in the hospital and my neurologist ran a test on me called  Arterial blood gas ABG. IT WAS DOWN IN THE 60's so he put me on oxygen and within 24 hours I was a new person. I hope Ymir helps.
363281 tn?1518219421
Hello,

There are certain tests online that you can print and have your dad take, some are pretty good. Also, if he has a  misplaced vertebrae in his neck, he could certainly be having some of these issues. I would see a good chiropractor and have a discussion with him with your dad.
4851940 tn?1515698193
The symptoms may be all related to alcohol abuse.  Alcohol destroy brain cells, but as your dad is an alcoholic, it may simply be that he is having withdrawal symptoms from not have an alcoholic drink.

His levels of Vitamin B12 may also be depleted as well as other minerals and vitamins.  A blood test would confirm if that was the case.  A kidney and liver function test would also detect if there was a problem there.  A lack of Vitamin B12 can cause memory problems.   A urine infection can also cause confusion.  With drinking a lot of alcohol he may also be dehydrated and that also will cause physical symptoms.

As your father is an alcoholic it is highly likely that he has some form of liver damage and the blood test would show this up if that was the case.

The only way to find out if he has any illness or to find out if he has any dementia, is to get him to be examined by his doctor and a referral to the right department for memory tests.  There are drugs to slow down the progress of Altzheimer's, but as your father is an alcoholic this probably won't be offered to him because he may already have damaged brain cells due to his alcohol abuse.

You are going to try and get him to go agree to see the doctor.  
If you have a problem to convince him to go, seek advice from your doctor's surgery if a doctor will come out to see him, but again you are going to try and convince your dad that he needs to be seen by a doctor.  

If all fails, get a urine specimen jar from your doctors surgery if they provide these, and get your dad to do a urine sample so that it can be analysed for any urinary infections.

Best of luck.  I know how difficult it is to try and persuade someone to agree to be seen by a doctor and go for mental tests.

Let me know how you get on.

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363281 tn?1518219421
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