My dad has schizophrenia but I don't know if he is getting Alzheimer's or dementia. He talks to himself a lot, non stop. He could talk for hours. Is that a sign of dementia or Alzheimer's? We took him to get a MRI and everything was good.

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How old is your father, Julissa? How long has he been living with schizophrenia?

Your family is quite right to be alert to changes in your father's mental health and his behaviour, and the best thing to do if you notice changes is to report them to his PCP and/or psychiatrist.

How is your dad in himself? Are you able to ask him about how he's feeling?
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Reply to Countrymouse

You can't really tell for sure it's Alzheimer's. My father's PCP diagnosed him; but when a retired nurse told dad he couldn't have Alzheimer's, we had PCP refer to neurologist. The neuro ordered an MRI and did a more in depth evaluation than done by a PCP.

I doubt the MRI confirms Alzheimer's but can rule out other causes. In my father's case it showed he'd had several strokes in the balance portion of his brain. Surprising really since we never saw the signs of a stroke and it did provide the reason he was falling so much.

His diagnosis of moderate Alzheimer's came from the in depth evaluation done by the PCP. How they can tell Alzheimer's from some other form of dementia - I have no idea - I should have asked when taking dad to he dr's appointments.

So my recommendation is to try and get your dad an appointment with a neurologist that deals in Alzheimer's, dementia and all its forms.
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Reply to cweissp

sorry the in depth eval done by the neurologist.
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Reply to cweissp

If you suspect your dad has dementia, make an appt with his PCP to have him screened for dementia. The PCP can do a very basic cognitive screen. If the screening shows your dad may have dementia, the PCP will (should) refer him to a neurologist or neuropsychologist for further evaluation. A PCP is not trained to diagnose the cause of dementia. Dementia refers to symptoms, it is not a disease. The specialist can determine what's causing the dementia. So it's not dementia OR Alzheimer's, it's dementia CAUSED by AD, if, in fact, that's what's causing his symptoms. There are many reasons for dementia symptoms so before you jump to conclusions, have him evaluated.
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Reply to sjplegacy

Is this talking behaviour new?

Some people with Sz talk back to the voices they hear. I don't know if all people hear voices, but I believe the voices may become more active at times, especially if medication is skipped. Some go through manic stages, of which overtalking can be a symptom.

Best to have a medical review.

Doctor will look for causes for the behaviour change & may wish to check bloods, kidney function, other general health issues too.
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Reply to Beatty

Alz runs in my Dads side of the family. Its different than other Dementias in that it effects the brain differently. Not sure if they can yet really diagnosis it. I know they ask certain questions and maybe the way the person progresses they may have a good idea. I just read this and even an MRI or CT scan are not conclusive.

"CT and MRI scans, which reveal the anatomic structure of the brain, are used to rule out such problems as tumor, hemorrhage, stroke, and hydrocephalus, which can masquerade as Alzheimer's disease. These scans can also show the loss of brain mass associated with Alzheimer's disease and other dementias."

I was told by a nurse this:

Dementia- you know its a stove but forget how to work it.

ALZ - you forgot that its a stove.
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Reply to JoAnn29

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