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A dementia mimic
Iris L.
Posted: Thursday, June 9, 2022 3:53 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 17934

I always encourage new members to have a thorough diagnostic evaluation to search for dementia mimics, before accepting a diagnosis of Alzheimer's Disease.  For years, I have known that I don't have AD. I wondered why I still had significant memory loss, poor executive functioning and apathy.  I have a diagnosis of systemic lupus, antiphospholipid syndrome and hypertension, all of which can contribute to cognitive symptoms.  


But a significant contributor is a condition that is mostly invisible, and that is SLEEP APNEA.  Due to bureauocratic, pandemic-related and other reasons, I had no treatment for sleep apnea for several years.  I have resumed treatment a month ago, and I have noticed improvement in my functioning.  The severe apathy, which I referred to as the "don't want to's", is decreased.  I can get up in the mornings and actually DO tasks and ACCOMPLISH goals.  I feel better.  Not cured, and certainly not normal.  


It may be too late for a great deal of improvement.  But I am satisfied with a little bit of improvement.  Because my life had come virtually to a standstill in these past months.  I was in a deep crisis, close to a catastrophe.  No one knew, and no help was forthcoming.  My only help has been resuming my CPAP treatment for sleep apnea.  Sleep apnea is almost never considered as a dementia mimic.  But I have a neurologist who did have me evaluated for sleep apnea.  I had to follow up myself because his office did not call me with the results of the overnight sleep study at the hospital sleep lab.  Plus, Covid got in the way.  But finally, I am getting treatment! 


Well, this is all.  My recommendation is to check yourself for sleep apnea.  Discuss with your neurologist about obtaining a proper sleep study.  Treatment is available and may bring some degree of improvement.



Michael Ellenbogen
Posted: Friday, June 10, 2022 2:16 PM
Joined: 11/30/2011
Posts: 4266

GGreat news. I may call you in two weeks as I am leaving for a business trip next week. Going to Denver Colorado
Iris L.
Posted: Friday, June 10, 2022 2:17 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 17934

Safe travels, Michael!


Posted: Saturday, June 18, 2022 10:23 AM
Joined: 10/24/2018
Posts: 1497

Iris, I am very pleased to hear this! Your news brought a smile to my heart!

And Michael, safe travels, and I hope it will be a productive trip with some fun in it too!

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