During a dementia episode, can it manifest as physical problems, such as heaviness and pressure in the chest above the breast bone?


I would like an answer from Dr. Grimaldi, if at all possible. Input from others is also welcome. I am aware that it does cause low grade fever, weakness, listlessness, etc. My mother has moderate stage dementia and has had several episodes, but this is the first with the pysical problem described. She says she has no trouble breathing (like short of breath), but says she has pressure above her breast bone on the left side, she describes as a heaviness. We know she's having an episode, but don't know if she needs medical attention for the chest pressure. Please advise quickly so we can make a decision regarding medical attention at this time. Thank you!!!

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We consulted with our newest expert, Carolyn Rosenblatt, who is a registered nurse and lawyer. Here is what she says:

Dementia does not manifest as heaviness and pressure on the chest. These can be symptoms of cardiac difficulties, respiratory problems, or other physical conditions. I suggest your mother see her physician right away. If the symptoms persist and get worse, it’s time to go to the emergency room of the nearest hospital. These can be serious symptoms, calling for immediate action. Above all, do not ignore them if they pass. They are a warning sign, at the very least, that a full examination is needed.
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Dementia is a cognitive problem - it does not cause low grade fever, weakness, listlessness.

if your mom is having physical symptoms / problems, those are totally separate from "dementia". If you have not called paramedics, do so now. She needs to be evaluated by a doctor right away.
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