Can dementia set in and present itself in only two weeks?

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My mom is only 68 and and over the course of two weeks, shes' gone from being completely independent and maintaining her own affairs/doctor's appointments/medicine, to being completely delusional, confused and unable to care for her basic functions. The first day (July 4th) she had an issue, she had some type of manic episode where she was up all night and hallucinating and having paranoia, and this lasted a couple of days after which I took her to the ER and they said she had a UTI. After being admitted for 2 days, they released her, but the confusion and behavior changes continued, so when we came back to the ER, they said it was due to the antibiotic she was give upon release (Levaquin). Couple of days later, the confusion and behavior is still out of character so we come back to the hospital and they keep her for further testing, now all the doctors are saying she possibly has dementia. HOW could dementia come on this quickly?? Real talk, she went from being 100% fully independent and functional to a shell of herself. So far she's had a battery of blood tests, CT scan, MRI, and is having an LP today, but at every point the docs are saying they can't find anything to indicate an external issue like infection, stroke or other injury. Has anyone had a loved one have dementia come on this quickly? She actually lives with me so I've seen/interacted with her everyday for several years just about, and the only changes I've seen in her behavior have been age related general changes (couldn't find keys, lost grocery list, forgot a name temporarily).

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I stumbled across this thread while googling resources. I'm going through a very similar situation with my mom. Sudden onset of delusions, paranoia, hallucinations. She had a UTI in late June which was treated and cured - confirmed that with a UA. We've done a full blood panel and CT that showed nothing. She has a neurology appointment in a few days and a geriatric psych eval too. This came on so rapidly over just a few weeks time. She's 76 and previously had minor memory issues but nothing super alarming until she started reporting all these odd things over the past few weeks like seeing and hearing things that aren't there and being afraid her caregivers are listening in on her conversations and stealing her cell phone & glasses. My brother and I are at our wits end.
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Amberlina--
I am so sorry to hear this. And you are positively doing EVERYTHING you can--and still no answers. That has to be frustrating. At first, I thought maybe you didn't see her frequently and the dementia had caught you off guard--but, no, you live together.

I know my sibs are 3/5 MIA and so when I refer to something mother has said or done (just letting them know she's getting worse, dementia wise) they blow me off and say "she's FINE, stop fussing". Well, they see her once or twice a year for 15 minutes. Few to no phone calls, and she doesn't answer the phone when she feels "off" in fact, she forgets how to use it!

At least you aren't dealing with people who are telling you YOU'RE crazy for thinking mom is slipping.

I hope more tests and some time will heal whatever is going on. Mother just has age-related decline, and I know nothing about LBD.

And yes, there are medicines and techniques to help "slow" the process, to a point.
Mother still only sees her GP. He's almost as old as she is, and is retiring soon. I look forward to a fresh pair of eyes looking at her.

Good Luck to you!
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So, I wanted to give a little update: So my mom stayed in the hospital for a week, she was released last week Thursday, but was discharged to a skilled nursing facility so to that she can get better care than I can provide in the home by myself. All her tests have come back without indicating anything specific. Since then, it’s been an ever-spinning merry-go-round of being told to try this doctor or another. She saw two neurologists in the hospital, and they had conflicting opinions. One felt that my mom's MRI showed some signs of dementia, the other felt that the changes were just normal aging, and did not indicate dementia, as he didn’t feel dementia would come on that sudden. [facepalm]. The hospital internist felt like her behavior was psychiatric in nature, so he had a mobile psych team with a nurse practitioner come to evaluate her (the hospital didn't have a psych team housed there) and after their evaluation (which was reviewed by the attending physician for the mobile team) they felt that she did not need to be hospitalized from a psychiatric perspective. They felt that it is delirium that was brought on by "unknown factors" and felt that she needed to see both a Neuropsychologist and Geriatric psychiatrist on an outpatient basis to help with the confusion, behavioral changes. She saw her PCP, she said skip the Psychiatrist and go back to the neurology docs(the ones with the conflicting opinions). The neurology office won’t see/follow-up with her until she see’s a Psychiatrist. Tried to contact Geriatric psychiatry group, they will not take her because they don't see patients that potentially have a dementia diagnosis. Contacted the Neuropsychology group and I have to fax in a packet of details with her info and they will get back at me in the next two weeks to “maybe” get us an appointment. I'm at my wits end: everyone keeps pointing me to go here/there without anyone following through.

All those issues aside, I have seen small improvements in her behavior/cognition. Day by day, I feel she has a little less confusion, but she's still is not all there. More like 1.5 steps forward, 1 step back. She’s a worrier by nature, so she’s always asking how am I paying for the lady to stay with her (she’s referring to the patient in the semi-private room with her) and she’s always concerned about what she’s supposed to do, even when it’s just her normal bathroom routine or eating dinner. The day before she was discharged, she was clear as a whistle all day long. We sat, talked about business, family, what's been going on with this health crisis, and most of all her personality and disposition were much like they usually are, despite the hospital setting. However, the next day, she had slipped back to much of the confusion. She’s very aware that there’s an “issue” because she also keeps saying things like “Why am I thinking like this”, “Why do I keep doing xyz over and over”, “Is this all a dream?” “I just can’t out think them (referring to me & nursing staff)”.

I’m just so frustrated because I can’t get a single doctor to take her case and help us with the next steps. Regardless of what the true diagnosis is, I feel like there are medicines or techniques that can be done to help make her more comfortable, that aren't being done because we can’t get into any doctors. At this point I’m just trying to help her stay comfortable and engaged, as I guess only time will tell what our final outcome will be.
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My sister, 73, has Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus (NPH). The main symptoms are UTI, dementia, difficulty walking. It can appear very quickly, they seem to walk with their feet attached to the floor. Eventually they start falling down. It can usually be seen on an MRI. It is the only kind of dementia that can be cured. The cure is a shunt that drains the fluid. It could also be a stroke, but NPH is frequently missed.
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My husband seemed as usual until knee surgery problem that kept him almost immobile for 30 days in hospital. He had been working full time up till that week. From that time on he has shown very obvious signs of dementia which resulted in a diagnosis for Alzheimer's. In retrospect I can recall small, very small, events that at the time seemed ordinary slip ups in behaviour, but certainly didn't prepare us for the sudden onslaught that came about after surgery.
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Thanks all for your responses. She was admitted last week, so all of the information from the tests has come from the hospital internist, which as been frustrating in itself because they rotate so often. The neurology consult has yielded little information so far. . The LP was done a little earlier today. The Neurologist felt that it wouldn't give any additional details, but ordered the test anyway. According to her PCP and the hospital, the UTI she had was relatively minor, as it didn't culture much of anything, but from what I've read, UTIs do some pretty bad things to older people.

Gahhhhh64:I'm sorry to hear that about your dad. I pray that we can find a good neurologist that can help us figure this out.

SunnyGirl1: No, she's had no changes like you've described. Good hygiene, all bills being paid (SN: in fact, during one of her lucid moments last week, she gave me a list of bills to make sure were paid, which was completely correct w/dates & amounts.), Appetite the same. As far as tests, they did the CT and MRI, and just simply said "There was nothing remarkable" and didn't indicate any type of stroke or brain bleed, past or present.

freqflyer: The only falls she's had were about 10 months ago, she tripped on a carpet that was in her room and fell and broke her shoulder/upper arm. In her defense, the carpet was badly placed and I tripped on it a number of times myself. While that was a struggle helping her during that period, she never had any confusion or disturbances with her routines, etc. As far as other falls (there have been 3x at home during this last two weeks), she has bad knees and so anytime she's fallen, she's not been able to get up without help, so I'm pretty sure she hasn't fallen and I didn't know about it.

jeannegibbs: Yes, like you mentioned, the internist adv that we might want to talk with both the behavioral neurologist and geriatric psychiatrist. The only problem is we would have to get consult in an outpatient setting and I'm worried about both getting to that point and her at home, because she has completely lost touch with her daily routines such as eating, hygiene and medication taking, and it's only me to assist her. As far as sleep, she's generally a lighter sleeper, but nothing like it is now, she's barely sleeping 1h at a time.

I'm the only child of a single parent that was an only child :'( , so these two weeks have been the most difficult I've ever faced. Luckily my job/manager are very accommodating, so I've been able to work remote and take off at a moment's notice, without even needing to use FMLA/PTO yet. I appreciate all the info any little bit helps to try and get a grip on all of this.
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Dementia cannot develop overnight. Dementia is damage in the brain that builds up over time ... often a couple of decades ... until it begins to interfere with normal living. Usually the dementia symptoms appear gradually, but it is possible for them to show up suddenly, too. The damage has been there, but without any noticeable symptoms until suddenly, wow, there they are. This happened to my husband and to one other family in my Lewy Body caregivers support group. It is not typical but it is possible.

When I started reading your post I thought "UTI" -- and that was what you found out. But behavior usually returns to normal once the infection is cleared up.

As Sunnygirl experienced, once I had a diagnosis for my husband some of the minor things that seemed at the time to have been aging looked in retrospect to be warning signs. And then in a cleaning binge I found past-due notices under the couch cushions. So while there was definitely a major meltdown on June 3, 2003, the symptoms really did start before that.

Could your mother have dementia? Definitely consult with a behavioral neurologist and/or a geriatric psychiatrist, if you haven't already.

Just out of curiosity, has your mother had sleep disturbances before these symptoms appeared? Has she lost her sense of smell?
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amberlina202, my Mom had some minor forgetfulness, normal for someone her age. Then she had a fall where she did hit her head, once back home from the hospital she was fine.

Two weeks later another fall but this time with a more serious head trauma. Much to my surprise, my Mom accelerated into the final stage of dementia. She was unable to take care of her self. The head scan showed my Mom had a brain bleed which they attribute to her now confusion.

Eventually my Dad admitted that Mom had been falling hitting her head, and the both of them had fallen down the stairs on numerous occasions. My gosh, any time there is a fall, that pushes the dementia further down the rabbit role :(
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I'd consult with a Neurologist who handles Alzheimers cases and other conditions that cause dementia. Are you just getting information from an ER doctor?

I know it must be frustrating. My LO had some early signs that weren't clearly indicative of dementia, but, her major symptoms did hit pretty quick (In a matter of months). She had suffered strokes and had Vascular Dementia. Since you know her well, maybe, the symptoms, along with the tests results can help the right neurologist find a diagnosis.

Did your mother have any other symptoms besides forgetting? In retrospect, I realized that my LO did, but, I just didn't realize what they were. It included being disagreeable for no real reason, letting hygiene go, becoming afraid to go out, obsessing over small matters, and losing her appetite.
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Lewy body dementia can come on. Like a Mack truck I lost my dad to it diagnosis to death in 3 years there are many types of dementia not just Alzheimer's a neurologist can help you find out
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