My mom is 78 years old and has been hospital for 1 week now due to high Coumadin levels and an infected pressure sore. She has started getting forgetful lately and started repeating herself often. The dr put her on a low does of Aricept which she just started on Saturday. She has been getting a local anesthesia in the hospital for the treatment of her pressure sore. For the last three days her mental state seems to
Fluctuate rapidly, she's fine in the morning and then by the afternoon she is confused as to why she is at the hospital and she seems to not know what's going on. Then it seems to get better again the next morning. Could this be the effects of local anesthesia ? Could it be a bad reaction to aricept? Any thoughts?
Your mother may have vascular dementia from years of cardiac issues. Local anesthetics would not affect her, but general anesthesia is a different story. Antibiotics CAN affect her thinking, so can infection. I doubt if your mom can live on her own any more, please talk to a Social Worker and Discharge Counselor about her next move.
My thoughts are that your mother wouldn't be in the hospital if she were healthy, and almost any kind of ill-health can cause dementia-like symptoms in the elderly. UTIs are notorious for this, but they are not alone.
If that is what is causing mom's forgetfulness and repetitions those symptoms will lessen and probably go away once her health is restored.
Many doctors give aricept if there is any suspicion of dementia, on the theory that it might help and it isn't likely to hurt.
Dementia is the result of damage in the brain. Different kinds of dementia involve different kinds and locations of damage. There are several kinds of protein cells that are implicated. Researchers now think that this damage may build up in the brain for decades before symptoms appear. If dementia damage is present in your mother's brain, it did not get there since she entered the hospital or since she got sick. But recent events may have triggered the symptoms that go with that damage.
If the symptoms are from something temporary, they will improve when that temporary condition goes away. If Mom has had dementia building in her brain for a long time then the symptoms may be related to permanent damage.
I'm afraid your only choice here is to wait and see. Right now the focus has to be on getting you mother well from her immediate concerns.
I wish you both a good outcome!
Do keep us informed as this progresses. We care!