My Momma (86) MCI and the first stage of dementia. Dementia scares me to death. I was also told that there are two kinds of Dementia. One is fast acting and the other is very slow. What tests can be done by a Neurologist to determine how a loved one has which kind? I'm a newbie to Dementia. I never had to personally deal with someone 24/7 that has it like I am now with Momma.
Can both the fast acting and the slower kind actually kill the person that has Dementia? Forgive me if I hurt anyone's feelings by asking this. I am just scared and Momma's Neurologist just doesn't seem too informative about Momma and her condition.
My Mom was dx'd w/MCI when she was 88/89. She was prescribed Aricept-one of several drugs that supposedly "slows the progression" of dementia. You should ask the Dr. if your Mom is a good candidate for any of these drugs, esp. since she is still "early stage". However, dementia is a progressive disease. There is no "cure" today. My Mom is now 94 and her dementia has now progressed to "moderate" (very little short-term memory, significant cognitive decline - she can no longer use a TV remote or a telephone - no sense of time or passage of time) but she still recognizes all her family and close friends and has a great sense of humor. She is also in overall excellent physical condition for her age and on very little medication other than the Aricept. You don't mention whether your Mom has other conditions/medications because those can also affect the progression of dementia but, again, something that should be discussed w/her Dr.
Re: the neurologist not being very informative....do you have medical POA? If not, the Dr. legally cannot discuss his patient's medical condition w/you and you should get this put in place ASAP if you are going to be the primary caregiver/decision-maker for your Mom as she ages (I have medical POA for my Mom; my brother has financial POA....we work together but both should be executed). Again, info on this site re: POA's should you need it.
MCI does not always develop into dementia. I'm a little puzzled that the doctor the doctor used both terms to describe your mother. I thought that the term "MCI" is dropped when dementia is diagnosed. I guess it doesn't matter a lot.
I am really sorry the doctor was not more forthcoming with information for you. His office probably has literature that you could request be sent to you. And there is tons of information on the internet. I urge you to join a support group for people whose loved ones have dementia. This online support group is also excellent.
Dementia is a terminal condition. You can look up the various kinds of dementia and see the life expectancy. I looked up one the other way and saw that the life expectancy was 2 to 10 years, with an average of 7 years. Does that mean that no one with that kind of dementia lives more than 10 years? No. There are always exceptions, but that gives a very generalized idea of what to expect.
My husband's death certificate says he died of Lewy Body Dementia. The autopsy revealed more specific causes, but they in turn happened because of the dementia. Interestingly, the doctor explaining the autopsy said my husband would probably have died of his life-long heart conditions within a matter of days, if the dementia hadn't taken him first. He was surprised the heart diseases didn't take him first.
We all die of something. Once someone has dementia it is fairly likely that will be the cause of death ... but obviously not always.
I'm not sure if a person can actually die from dementia alone. My mother passed at 89 but she'd had parkinsons for 15 years, many strokes and broken hips from numerous falls. Perhaps someone else can shed more light on it.