Alzheimers or Vascular Dementia?


My mom was diagnosed with moderate severe Alzheimer's today after scoring 15/30 on a mini mental evaluation. Over a year ago she scored 28/30. She also had stress tests yesterday that were positive and she has a heart cath next week. She is 74 and her short term memory has declined over the years but recently really dived. Anyone have thoughts on this or similar experience? I'm wondering if her dementia could be caused by a blockage if she has a blockage.

Find Care & Housing


I agree that you need to have your Mom evaluated for a possible UTI or for mild/"walking" pneumonia. They can change an elderly person's mental status, personality, and behavior and decrease their ability to perform ADLs suddenly for no apparent reason.

I know of one elderly lady who would have balance problems and fall whenever she had a respiratory cold or mild pneumonia. Her balance would return to normal after she recovered from the respiratory illness.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to DeeAnna

Make sure she gets diagnosed by an expert. This was one of the first recommendations I read when I cam to this site, and it made a huge difference for my Mom.

Although there is not specific test for Alzheimer, they often through thorough neuro-psych testing can tell you if the dementia is likely Alzheimer's or not. Or whether it is one of the numerous other types of dementia. It has to do with they types of errors made on the memory/processing tests, plus other tests.

In my Mom's work-up they actually found that she had a treatable form of dementia (NPH) which is unusual, but possible. But even before that diagnosis the neurologist was leaning away from Alzheimer's because of the way she answered test questions.

Good luck!
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to chdottir

We always have to ask if there’s been testing done for a urinary tract infection. If the decline was very sudden, like in my mom’s case, it could be a UTI or chronic UTI’s. That’s what she had.

I’m not a doctor, but I don’t think dementia would be caused by a heart blockage like brain damage can be caused by a lack of oxygen to the brain. It’s a progressive disease and there do seem to be hills and valleys with their behavior. I could have wonderful conversations with my mom and then next time, she was loopy.

Unfortunately she will continue to decline as this rotten disease progresses. Keep searching this site for help and the experiences of others. And come back any time. Someone is always here!
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to Ahmijoy

Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to jpagelowry