Follow
Share

My 61 year old mother was diagnosed with dementia in the fall by 2 different doctors. She was unable to live on her own and was moved to a memory care unit. Due to hearing voices and acting on them her doctor ordered a brain scan and then ruled out dementia and changed her diagnosis to schizophrenia. She has a normal life expectancy and her doctor is confident that he can get her back to living a normal life with proper treatment. Has anyone had a somewhat similar experience with a changed diagnosis? What can we expect now?

Find Care & Housing
Hi afwife,
how is your mother now?
Im in a vary similar situation with my mother - apparently dementia (observed by several doctors over 7 weeks in hospital) but her new doctor in the nursing home says - yeah some signs of dementia but thinks schizophrenia...
we don’t know what to think? Should we have hope for improvement in her mood/behaviour...
would be very interested to hear how your situation panned out.
Thank you!
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to EeeBee
Report
FrazzledMama Jul 22, 2018
I would consult with a neurologist as well as a geriatric psychiatrist. The neurologist can help determine how much of it is due to the physical changes in the brain associated with dementia, and the geriatric psychiatrist will know which meds can best help manage the symptoms with her diagnosis, whether it ends up being dementia or schizophrenia or both.

It's often hard to tell because certain types of dementia and other neurological issues can cause some of the same symptoms (delusions, hallucinations, behavior changes) as schizophrenia. We're going through this with my mom now.

She has diagnosed and treated for schizophrenia, having been in and out of psych facilities, but there is some question as to whether she may have early onset Parkinsons or Dementia, not to mention damage that may have occurred in her brain when she went into a diabetic coma 7 years ago. MRI didn't show any major changes, but her psych doc said it's possible to have damage that doesn't necessarily always show up on a scan. We go back to her neurologist in Sept.

Good luck, and keep us posted on how it goes. I'm interested to see what you find out.
(1)
Report
Hmm ... a PET scan is not conclusive for dementia.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to jeannegibbs
Report

I hope things turn out well, but, I would seriously get a second opinion from a psychiatrist.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to Sunnygirl1
Report

Thank you! This is the doctor that originally diagnosed her. He is a neurologist. She is showing a few other symptoms of schizophrenia as well. From what Little I have learned, schizophrenia can surface later in life due to a traumatic event, my dad passed away 3 years ago after a grueling battle with cancer.

She had a PET scan done. The neurologist said if she did have dementia, it would show up on the scan. There was no evidence, which lead him to the schizophrenia diagnosis. He has been monitoring her the last few months in her memory care facility and suspected she might not actually have dementia.

We shall see! It is quite a turn of events. She is still so young so we are hopeful we can get things turned around. Thank you!
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to afwife
Report

That is a pretty drastic change! What kind of doctor made it? Is he one of the two who originally said "dementia"?

I think I would want a second opinion, probably from a psychiatrist. Since it at least has some treatments available, it would probably be a good thing if the diagnosis change is correct. Before I'd start treatments, however, I would want to talk it over with another expert.

A few types of dementia, including Lewy Body Dementia and Parkinson's Disease Dementia, often include auditory hallucinations, and other kinds of dementia can as well.

It would be terrible to continue the non-treatment approach for dementia if your mother actually has something that can be treated! I wish you the very best with this change. Would you come back and let us know?
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to jeannegibbs
Report

Interesting, schizophrenia usually surfaces in a person's twenties. We have niece with schizophrenia
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to Grammyteacher
Report

Wow - what a change. I have no experience, but I hope this makes a difference for her!!
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to chdottir
Report