My 74yo mom was diagnosed with vascular dementia just over 3 years ago. She functions well and has only recently required a day sitter. Twice in the last 14 days she's had "spells" where she was awake but not alert. Both times she awakened from sleep and was incoherent and unresponsive. After about 30 minutes she came back around to some degree, but still remained extremely confused. Both times she talked about a vivid, disturbing dream she just had and couldn't distinguish between the dream and reality. When she was able to speak again, it was very slow and deliberate but not slurred. She didn't have any weakness on either side. Her eyes were sensitive to light so she kept them closed. For an hour or so after she came back around, she talked with her eyes closed and would fade out again, even in the middle of the sentence. Three to four hours after the initial onset, Mama was more herself but it took about 48 hours for her to be back at her baseline.
Initial tests showed no stroke, no blockages in her carotid, no significant new atrophy or damage in her brain…so her doctor suspected a TIA. Ten days later, following the second episode, her doctor is leaning more towards a seizure. He says they're common in people who have changes in the brain. Hers would be an absent, or petit mal, seizure.
Beginning 5 days after the first episode, my sweet, laid-back mother morphed into a fire-breathing dragon. To say that she was agitated is a huge understatement. She's had periods of irritability before, but never to this degree or this long-lasting. For 6 days, until the second episode, she was confrontational, uncooperative, argumentative, and mean-spirited. All the time. A huge departure from her normal behavior.
We see her neurologist for an EEG this week. In the meantime, I'm curious if anyone else has dealt with this. Thanks for any info you can share!