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When Mom started having dementia problems we got her started with a thorough workup at the large university Memory and Brain Wellness center near us. It has been a long process, but we finally got the result last week. The MRI shows enlarged brain ventricles, and that along with the neurocognitive tests and the fact that her walking problems started along with her memory problems have resulted in this diagnosis. I walked into the appointment expecting a diagnosis of vascular dementia (maybe mixed with Alzheimers). And I thought I would be told there wasn't much we could do. To find out she has a condition that may be treatable is blowing my mind - in a good way. So I have been busy doing research. This site has a good write-up on NPH, and I've read some other threads. But with all the reading I've done here I hadn't seen anybody else refer to this diagnosis before, until I searched for it. We will be seeing a hydrocephalus specialist soon and I know there are a lot of steps to be taken before a decision is made to do anything. Has anybody else had their loved one receive this diagnosis? Has anybody gone through the spinal tap test, or had the shunt put in? What were your experiences. I'm reading the statistics, etc., but I would love to hear some first hand accounts - good or bad. And thanks to this forum for making sure we moved ahead with a thorough work-up with specialists when Mom developed her problems. I doubt it would have been diagnosed without the complete work-up!

I’m glad there was an investigative way to find out if the shunt might help. I’m sorry to hear that it will not.
This is a hard journey we’re all on and it’s a gift to your mom that you’re willing to help her on it.
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Reply to Ceecee65
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I'm sorry it didn't work out better for your mother. At least you didn't have to subject your Mom to surgery for nothing.
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Reply to CarlaCB
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Just an update.

My Mom had the lumbar drain test. Unfortunately she showed no improvement, when means that there was only a tiny chance that the shunt would make any difference at all.

After discussion with the doctor we decided not to move forward with the shunt. We are disappointed that it didn't work out for Mom, but grateful to her doctors for investigating the possibility.
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Reply to chdottir
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Thanks everybody for your responses, especially Carla with your first hand experience.

Mom is going to be having the 3 day lumbar drain test this coming week, to see if she is a good candidate for a shunt. We are hoping for a noticeable improvement in her walking. I have read elsewhere about lots of good success stories, so we are hopeful. At the same time we are trying to take one step at a time and realize that no outcome is guaranteed.
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Reply to chdottir
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My mother had this - the spinal taps, the shunt surgery, all of it. She was 82 or 83. The surgery itself was not a big deal - quick recovery and no complications. She hasn't had any subsequent complications with the shunt either, and this was 3-4 years ago.

That said, the surgery did little to nothing to improve her walking and balance. However, her walking had been severely impaired for years by this time, and she had complicating factors. Diabetic neuropathy and some serious muscle atrophy, including very weak hip flexors. The only benefit is that her mild cognitive impairment has not gotten much worse in the ensuing years. Her bladder incontinence improved some after the shunt also, but that's about it.

I'm encouraged to hear that your mother's problems are of recent origin. I think (and the doctors opined) that if my mother's condition had been treated sooner, she might have had better results. As it was, her mobility had already declined so much that there was no getting it back, except perhaps with extreme physical therapy which she wasn't willing to do. I hope your mother has better results if you do proceed with the surgery.
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Reply to CarlaCB
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Yes, we definitely have concerns about surgery at her age. That said, except for these relatively new dementia and walking problems, the rest of her body is in pretty good shape - strong heart, liver, kidneys.
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Reply to chdottir
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I'm glad you are finally getting some answers. I hope and pray that your neurologist will be honest about the dangers and complications that could result from placing a shunt in someone over the age of 80. Good luck!! Please report back and tell us how she's doing once the shunt is in place. :)
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Reply to Ceecee65
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What great news! I don't have personal experience, just a friend's mom a couple of years ago. Everyone assumed she was developing dementia, but same as your experience, a thorough workup showed it to be NPH. I know she had a good outcome with a shunt.
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn
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Moving this up
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Reply to 97yroldmom
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