Can early dementia sometimes start decades earlier?

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My father has always been a NPD, but after hip replacement 15 years ago, his social skills really went downhill and his behavior began to get unusual. It was so gradual that we did not really think about it at the time. Now that he has full blown dementia, we realize that his behavior really changed after the surgery?

Could he have had a stroke or event during that surgery that triggered dementia?

Yes, this is the man that drove into the bank lobby and refused to stop driving for many more years. I am wondering if he had a TIA then? He has no diagnosis or history of stroke.

So, in short, I am wondering if anesthesia or surgery can trigger the onset of alz/dementia. His MD seems unwilling to form any speculation. Any theories?

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Many researchers are now convinced that dementia may start as much as 30 years before it reaches the point of obvious symptoms. This is ultimately hopeful news in that if science can discover good ways to diagnose this very early and if we have some effective ways to intervene, that would be much better than trying to treat the symptoms when they appear.

But right now, we can only speculate about when a particular case of dementia started.
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Blannie, he was around 80 and had a rough recovery from hip replacement. It really makes no difference at his current stage and state of health. We kids were just comparing notes as to what place in time he started withdrawing and not taking care of things as he used to. Thanks for the info and opinion.
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How old was your father when he had his surgery and anesthesia? Anesthesia can certainly trigger dementia in older patients. Here's an article in Scientific American about anesthesia. Bottom line is it can cause issues, but scientists aren't sure exactly why.
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By the time my loved one had her MRI, it revealed multiple strokes. I"m not sure how long ago they started. The immediate need at the time was to place her somewhere she was safe and cared for. (She was wandering.)

A neurologist might be able to order tests and evaluations that might give them more information. In many cases, putting the patient through that is not beneficial as it would not change the course of treatment. I would pursue it if it was necessary to help with treatment, but only in that case.
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Any answers will only be theories so the Dr needs to order tests which will be expensive if there is really a need to know. It is well known that anesthesia can alter the cognative behavour especially in the elderly. Early signs of dementia are frequently hidden from family and friends as dismissed by others as part of the aging process.
If he now has full blown dementia there would be little to be done with or without a definite cause other than symptom control. His MD can not speculate without facts.
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