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My Mom was diagnosed with mild/moderate cognitive impairment which they refer to as dementia. How does that differ or does it from alzheimer's. Will it lead to that? When will I know if it does.

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Mom had a whole neuropsych workup at a major rehab center at the suggestion of the geriatric psychiatrist who was managing her anti anxiety meds in Independent Living. We moved mom there because of increasing panic, high blood pressure and inability to cope with life. I thought of this as a purely psychiatric issue.

So mom had this workup (brain scans, blood tests, IQ and other paper and tests of reasoning and memory. This was done over 2 days.

The diagnosis was mild cognitive impairment, and a followup was done a year later which determined thst moms cognitive levels were stable ie no progression. This decline appeared to be the result of a previos stroke that we were all unaware of. Having this baseline was great when mom had another, more serious stroke several months later.


I guess my point is that we were completely unaware of mom having any cognitive issues. Anxiety and panic can ensue when the elder realizes that they cannot always figure out the steps to take to solve problems.
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That's my understanding too. The dementia or cognitive impairment, can come from many causes. If you want to know if it was caused by Alzheimers, Vascular Dementia (strokes) or some other illness, then the Neurologist is likely to do an office exam consisting of questions and physical exam, an MRI of the brain and spinal cord, and a Neuropsychological examination. Taking this and the person's medical history into account, the Neurologist can then give his opinion as to what the patient has.
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"mild cognitive impairment" is a fairly general term that has no specific diagnosis. "Alzheimer's" means multiple tests have been done and the results of brain imaging and blood work are specific to Alzheimer's disease.
A patient with a history of heart disease or stroke may have a vascular type of dementia, meaning the blood is not flowing where it should.
A patient with serious kidney disease can be cognitively impaired by toxins.
Someone with a long history of alcohol consumption can lose cognitive ability. Same with drug use, whether it is street drugs or prescription items, they all take a toll on the body.
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