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Sudden changes
Posted: Friday, November 17, 2017 2:02 PM
Joined: 5/26/2017
Posts: 21

I am 64, was diagnosed about 2 years ago.  All has been as fine as it can be until about 3 weeks ago.  While nothing in my life has changed (with in reason) I find that I am much more forgetful, cognitive functions are much reduced, and I am having anger and depression issues.  

Has anyone else noticed that their "decent" will / has suddenly speed up?

Mimi S.
Posted: Friday, November 17, 2017 4:34 PM
Joined: 11/29/2011
Posts: 6500

Dear kdwcpa,

ASAP, do call the doctor who you are seeing about your dementia. Hopefully you are seeing a specialist. Anytime a sudden change is detected you need to consult your doctor.

Do keep us in the look.

Posted: Friday, November 17, 2017 8:19 PM
Joined: 4/22/2017
Posts: 235

Unfortunately, yes. I am now aware my mental processing is slower than _____. My visual processing is horrible. It took me a while to figure out that sometimes my brain is taking a bit too long to interpret what I am seeing. These aren't hallucinations or delusions. I've only had five of these incidents thus far but I'm afraid my driving days may end sooner than expected.  

I've been reading a lot of studies lately trying to get a handle on all of this. I had read in some older studies that the amount of plaque in the brain is not related to the state of cognition. 

However,  I also found a study published this year that showed that those with a higher amyloid burden will progress more rapidly than those with less. I cannot remember whether the APOE4 played any role in this acceleration because carriers of the APOE4 gene tend to have a higher burden. I'm sure I bookmarked the study so I'll probably go back and check.  

I had also read a study that indicated those with a higher cognitive reserve, in general, have been found to have a greater amount of amyloid on their Pet Scan. The thought behind this is that the person with a higher cognitive reserve gets along quite nicely until the the reserve is used up. There's a much more elegant way to phrase that last sentence, but damn if I can think of it right now.

I'm totally aware of the sudden worsening of my cognition and yet I am also aware that I am an experienced procrastinator. One of my younger colleagues pointed out to me that Alzheimer's is terminal. Uh, yes. I am so screwed. 

Posted: Friday, November 17, 2017 8:54 PM
Joined: 12/2/2015
Posts: 1015

First of all, I have DLB, with only a minor amout of Alz mixed in so they say. Second, regardless of Alz or DLB, there are no two individuals who make the jounrye the same way. Evetyone is different. I don't know if you having sudden change, but change is what we all get, change for the worse is the only kind of change we get. I am 67, but I now in a CCRC. While I can think decently and analyze things some, there are tons of things I can't do. For me, no short term memory, but I really don't care about memory. I care more about anxiety, agitation, empty feelings, what I call dead head, blood pressure drops that really can ruin my day. The hallucinations aren't any big deal to me, because I know the things I see aren't real, although unexpected but also expected. Vision issues have been problem for a long time, and getting worse, but I still get by. My parkinson stuff is more or less under some level of control with medication, but the same med makes everything else worse. Go figure. I have what they call on/off periods, where things are really bad and then things are ok for a while, sometimes flipping around 10 or more times a day. I can't even remember all my problems any more. I just get hit with them, then frankly forget about it. Very little short term memory has its upsides too I guess. Look we all are on a ugly journey for ourselves and our family. It just doesn't let up, and it slowly get worse, with little spurts every so often where I slip down to a new baseline with some of symptoms. Good luck to you, and good luck to all of us dementia folks. It just sucks so much and frankly makes me very sad. Depression? Why would we not be depressed with all this crap. I take two SSRIs, with not much good that I can tell. Well, I'm going to bed now. Take a deep breath and know that things will work out until they don't work out. Good luck is all I can say.
Horse Lover
Posted: Saturday, November 18, 2017 12:08 PM
Joined: 11/4/2017
Posts: 122

Yes, I feel that I am suddenly on a slippery slope. I've noticed a tremendous number of changes in the last 2 weeks. My husband has also noticed sudden changes. I have had all kinds of problems with medications. My alzheimers meds were supposed to increase, but I can't handle them. I had to go off of ability for over a week. So, I've bottomed out and Iall I do is cry. I need help. My husband needs help. I don't know where to turn.
Posted: Saturday, November 18, 2017 12:15 PM
Joined: 9/12/2013
Posts: 3226

I have experienced "sudden changes" and they are so far 70% related to a UTI (urinary tract infection).

When not caused by that the new symptoms manifest for a week or so and then diminish. Don't get too comfortable thinking this is it, I'll never be able to _______ again. Most of the time things have come back. 

I think anger is one of the bigger symptoms of a UTI for many ALZ patients. I have had so many I bought the test strips so I can check my urine at home.

The more concern I have, or despair or anxiety - the worse the cognitive function is.

love and courage

Posted: Monday, December 4, 2017 8:16 AM
Joined: 5/26/2017
Posts: 21

Thanks to everyone who replied.  I am actually on a Danube River cruise with my wife.  But I have gotten to the point of having to use a walker for distances over 10 yards, and my legs feel like rock.

Memory is worse, and I am sleeping A LOT.  Guess maybe this is where things are just going....

Mimi S.
Posted: Monday, December 4, 2017 8:26 AM
Joined: 11/29/2011
Posts: 6500

Hi kdwcpa,

I was on a Danube River Cruise a year ago. Mine was run by Amaway.  I received fantastic care. I hope you are receiving whatever care you need.

If you can contact your dementia doctor by e-mail, please do so. And, no matter how wonderful the trip is, there is stress. And this could be part of the problem.  

Enjoy.  Which trip are you on? I went from Budapest to Bucharest.

Iris L.
Posted: Monday, December 4, 2017 3:04 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 15440

Anytime there is a sudden change or decline, medical causes must be searched for.  The most common one is a silent urinary tract infection (silent UTI).  They are called silent UTIs because they may not have the usual signs of burning or strong urine.  

There are strips that can be purchased from a drug store to check the urine at home, to let you know if you need to visit the doctor or urgent care.  Perhaps we can purchase these and keep them available if needed.

Iris L.

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