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My husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer's 2 months ago by a psychiatrist. He was fine since a week ago and demanded to go and see our GP....which told him that the MRI scan show vascular dementia instead of Alzheimer's. I am so confused now. I must take the MRI scans from 2012 and now 2015 back to the Drs who did the MRI scans for them to show the differences between then and now. I am quite tired from all of this....why cant he accept what is happening with him.

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When my husband was diagnosed with "mild dementia," the neurologist referred him to a neuropsychologist who concluded he "did not fit the pattern for Alzheimer's." She interviewed both of us for an hour and tested him for two. He has since been diagnosed with Progressive Supranuclear Palsy.
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Vascular dementia and Alzheimers's are NOT the same. VaD decreases generally in a step-wise fashion, whike Alz is a continous loss. Medications ok for Alz like tri-cyclic antidepressants, steroids and ergotamines increase some for s of VaD. He obviously understands this is bad, and may be hoping for a miracle. Sme older people are vitamin B deprived and fixing that fixes the problems (one example). Too many are wrongly diagnosed. Doctors make mistakes. The patient has to pay for those mistakes, Better safe than sorry. Some forms of VaD include a progression into apathy, at which time he will care less because his brain will be damaged in the area of motivation. It is important to determine the diagnosis most correct for him.
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I don't know too many people who like to "accept" a terminal diagnosis. If he has any cognitive abilities, then he is holding out for "hope". Don't take that away from him, and as the disease process begins in earnest, he will forget...time for you to take a break and go see a comedy. We caregivers don't like this diagnosis anymore than the patient. Try to stay strong for him.
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Irries: Why can't he accept it?
Harvard Health Publications states, Re: Diagnosing Alzheimer's Disease
No blood test, brain scan, or physical exam can definitively diagnose Alzheimer's disease. And because so many conditions can produce symptoms resembling those of early Alzheimer's, reaching the correct diagnosis is complicated.
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Maggie....thanx a lot I dont like your answer at all....we have been from dr to dr and the prognoses are the same...it was only the last one yesterday who says it looks rather like vasculer dimentia. I have great sympathy for my husband, but he always was a person who never belief doctors, no matter what the outcome of anything was that he went to see the doctor for....that is why it is so difficult to get him to accept and rather live each day as good as he can before he looses everthing....
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Oops, I was typing as you posted Windyridge!
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Reenytdb, you have tried to hi-jack someone else's post and are demanding an immediate answer? NOT good forum etiquette, but I will answer you anyway.

Dementia isn't diagnosed with a blood test. While advanced brain scans like MRIs will show signs of some forms of dementia a diagnosis is often made by asking a series of questions designed to test cognitive function. There are very simple tests that almost anyone can do and there are more detailed ones that are usually given by a neurologist or someone who has been specially trained.
I encourage you to search for answers already contained within this site by using the search box on the top right.
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Reeny, first, this site is not manned 24/7 by a call center. We're all just people like you sharing experiences, answering questions as best we can and giving support and advice to each other.

For specific questions find the box "Ask a question". Type it in and hit Post.

As to this question, there are different tests for dementia mostly cognitive type I think. In all honestly if your mom is showing classic signs of dementia it's not terribly important that she is officially tested and diagnosed.

My dad has always refused any testing but his is a classic case and I don't push the issue. He says he's fine but his short term memory is about 30 seconds.

If you get this post, learn how to use this site. There's tonsvof good info and lots of knowledgeable people to talk with.

I wish you the best. This is a tough thing to deal with.
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There has been very very good progress in diagnosing Alzheimer's. Before it had to based on symptoms and confirmed after death with examination of the brain. But now there are a number of things that can help confirm the diagnosis before death.

That is not necessarily true of other kinds of dementia.

Mixed dementia is extremely common.
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Where's my answer
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What kinds of test should the Dr. Order?
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I don't see an answer
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My moms Dr. told me that my mom has dementia. She has all the signs. But, the Dr. Never did test. Is it a blood test. My mom is 84yrs old. Please help.
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Chicago makes a good point about getting things in order. I don't mean to sound morbid but as this progresses it becomes impossible to reason with your loved one. If possible verify that wills, end of life directives, finances, utility bills, POA is all done. All his affairs will have to be handled by you as this progresses. I going through it wit my Dad. I'm so sorry this is coming your way. Stay strong.
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Why can't he just accept it? SURELY you can empathize with that. It's a TERRIBLE diagnosis. Whatever you need to fo to get a positive diagnosis confirmed should be done. And even when you HAVE it confirmed, as a loving wife you might STILL couch it in, "They're pretty sure, honey." There will come a time much too soon that he won't care about that anymore.
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I thought that ALZ cannot be diagnosed at all. It is just everyone's best guess. But both are awful and the results are the same.

His long term plans need made, now. And especially, what happens if he out lives you.

I am sorry. My FIL had ALZ, so I know what happens.
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Either one is a terrible diagnosis so I don't blame him for his denial. He maybe just needs time to come to terms with it and work through his grief. Educate yourself about both dementias and make materiel available to him as well so he can read it when he is ready.
Bottom line is that none of us is immortal. Whatever the final diagnosis both of you have been given a wake up call. It is time to make long term plans, update your Wills, POAs and discuss DNRs and Living Wills. Talk to your friends/family and rally the troops to reassure him that no matter what the future holds you will work through it together.
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He may not be able to process what is causing the dementia. Perhaps it matters to him since he may have negative feelings about Alzheimers that he may not associate with vascular dementia. He may also believe that he can better treat the vascular dementia. Making him accept it or change his mind, is not that likely. If you have access to the test and medical appointments, then I would go with it.

Many people have Mixed dementia, where they have vascular and Alzheimers. I'm not sure how his GP was able to confirm that he doesn't have both. I saw an expert at the Mayo Clinic last night on the Glen Campbell documentary explain that they have test now that can pretty much confirm if it's Alzheimers. I had always been told they couldn't know for sure until after death. So, this was news to me.

You might get a third opinion from a Neurologist. That way, you can know more of what to expect.

My cousin has Vascular dementia/mixed with Alzheimers and it can hit pretty quick. She went from mild to severe in less than a year! I would read as much as possible so you will know what to expect. I'm not sure if I would concern myself with whether your husband accepts the diagnosis or not, since he may forget about it.

My loved one was told she had dementia, but she never seemed to process it. The only thing she ever said about it, was that she hated losing memories of her parents, because they were so wonderful to her. It broke my heart.
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