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He did get a complete check up by family doctor and had blood work and brain scan so will be going back to see results of tests but doctor also suggested seeing a neurologist.

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thanks you are right and the doctor did get him tested for that and we will know results when we go back next month :)
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The other reason to get a diagnosis now is to rule out treatable causes of dementia, like thyroid and low B12. If you don't get those treated, he will be living with dementia unnecessarily.
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... perhaps I will
wait to take him to neuro until we
have things organized with the
elder law lawyer...

Yesssss, and before you start complaining to the dr about anything.
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thank you all for your kindness and information, it is very much appreciated
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A positive identification of the type of dementia can only be made by analyzing the brain after death. (Research is urgently underway to to find noninvasive methods of diagnosis, but we are not there yet.)

In my mind, the value of having a tentative diagnosis as soon as possible is that all dementias are NOT the same, and different treatment plans are appropriate for different types of dementia. For example, one medication often used in ERs is acceptable for Alzheimer's patients but could do permanent damage to persons with Lewy Body Dementia. Having a diagnosis sooner rather than later could be life-saving.

Another value of an early diagnosis is to know in general what to expect. For example, Lewy Body Dementia often involves hallucinations in the very early stages; other types may not involve hallucinations or they may come much later. Knowing what to expect doesn't change anything, but it can help to keep us caregivers calm and better prepared.

Once you have a tentative diagnosis it is easier to find specific help. As a caregiver you'll know which books to read and what support groups to join. This can be enormously helpful!

My husband developed symptoms in his mid seventies. Getting a tentative diagnosis immediately was extremely helpful to both of us. (It has been confirmed upon autopsy, by the way.)

My mother's symptoms developed in her nineties. We are content to deal with symptoms as they come up and don't feel knowing exactly the type of dementia would be as valuable now as it would have been 20 years ago.

If I were you, brit38, I'd wait for the results of the tests your husband has already had, get the legal paperwork done, and then see a behavioral neurologist, or a geriatric psychiatrist, or both, for the best tentative diagnosis you can get.

No matter who you see, there is no cure for progressive dementia. There are effective treatments for many of the symptoms, and that can make a HUGE difference in quality of life, for both the person with dementia and for his caregiver and loved ones.
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A primary care physician can prescribe Aricept, and others with no need to go to a neurologist for this during the early stages.
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One good reason for going to a neurologist now would be to get a baseline of his memory capabilities and to rule out anything else that might become a concern. My mom went for quite a while before being put on any medication and only needed to see the neurologist every 6 months the first 2 years. Now she is on meds and goes every four months.

From my observation, they use those memory tests (word recall, counting backwards) to sort of "score" each patient so they can see if there is any decline and how fast it is progressing from visit to visit. You'll also want to have time to find a neurologist who is the right fit for you and your husband. Best wishes!
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Thanks for input. So perhaps I will wait to take him to neuro until we have things organized with the elder law lawyer :)
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I hope you have your husbands health POA taken care of and either a trust or a financial POA in place. It is difficult to do those things once an impairment diagnosis has been made.

As far as the path you want to take, you will hopefully do some research and reading up on dementia, for it takes its own path. The patient, the doctors and you have no control over the course it takes. Medication of some sort, at many different levels, typically becomes your only option.
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I am wondering if all a neuro basically does is prescribe medication? That is not a path we want to go down at the moment.
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I think the sooner a person gets on some sort of medication like Aricept or Namenda for dementia, the better.
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Not a bad idea to get started with a neurologist, but also no great hurry.
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