Is it Alzheimer's? - AgingCare.com

Is it Alzheimer's?

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My husband had a cat scan 3 years ago, lot of white spots in the frontal lobe. His short term memory is very bad. He must make use of notes and diary to get along at work. Sometimes forgets words or give some stupid word in its place only for me to try and get the right word. Eats with his eyes closed, very tired in the afternoo when he gets home. No sex drive at all. Forgets places he has to be for meetings sometimes and drives with the GPS now. His psychiatrist has increased his medicine serdep 100mg and donecept 10mg daily. No medical practitioner wants to put a label to his condition, we are very tired of looking for answers......can you help please!!!

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Irries, there really is no set prognosis, but the second CT scan will definitely give them an idea of how fast things are changing. To give an example, an annual CT scan is ordered for my sister, who was born with band heterotopia. She sees a Neurologist every 3-4 months. At age 60, her brain looks like she is age 80.
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Thank you all. Just some quick answers...I go with him to all medical appointments as it is his wish for me to be there. His financial state and planning is intact. Actually he said he think he should go back for another CT scan. I am very well informed from the internet about alzheimers and dimentia, so I know what its all about. But the reason for not telling people the prognosis, I dont know...Will keep you posted if we do get an answer sometime.
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This is a more technical reference, but could give you and idea of how imaging could help guide treatment and progrnosis, and what all the different conditions actually are:
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Serdep is Zoloft, an SSRI, and Donecept is donepezil - both can cause insomnia, need to make sure he's sleeping Ok; SSRIs can also affect the sex drive. Frontal lobe white spots are probably not Alzheimer's but some other brain disease, and I have a feeling you do need a better diagnostician, ideally a geriatric neurologist. It could be fronto-temporal or vascular, and with that there is also the question of stroke protection to be considered, though the choice of donepezil can be a good one for either and Alzheimer or a vascular diagnosis. CADASIL is even possible, especially if the first CT was occasioned by frequent headaches. At this point, there is a good chance a follow up imaging, preferably an MRI, would be very helpful to gauge how fast things are progressing and maybe clarify the cause.
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Certainly sounds like Alzheimer's if he is responding to the drugs. After 3 years I would ask for another CT scan and get a copy of it on CD, so you can take that to other MD's. Some MD's will not use the word Alzheimer or Dementia in front of the patient. They will refer to 'amyloid plaques' and cite the symptoms in their reports. They do not want the patient and his family to become hysterical in their office.
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Since you don't know the outcome of this, cwillie is absolutely right. While he is still very lucid and in control, he should be setting up directives for his care and finances just in case the problem does incapacitate him in the future. My mother absolutely refused to discuss anything about her care or funeral arrangements, etc. Fortunately, we did get her to sign a POA because now she has full blown Alzheimers and is incompetent. We have to make the decisions for her, hoping it is what she would want, because she refused to tell us. It is always best to prepare, just in case. And 57 is not too young for early onset alzheimers so if the doctor is telling you that, find another doctor. Whatever he wants to call it, it does call for preparation.
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From my reading I would think he is certainly not too young for early onset alzheimers. I would encourage you to read as much as you can about alzheimers, both on this site and on the web in general. Regardless, the doc should be more straightforward with you. What are they treating him for? What is the progression expected to be? Has you husband given you the authority to speak to his doctor, could they be stonewalling you because that is not in place? This would probably be a good time to look into setting up heathcare and financial POA's for both of you.
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yes he did see a neurologist who told us that the last chapter on the white spots on the brain has not been written yet and that he is too young for alzheimers, he is 57 years old. But the psychiatrist prescribed the medicine to help his memory, he was on half the dosis that he is on now and there is a slight difference in the sharpness of the brain, but we were also told that is the maximum dosis for these kind of tablets. My husband once did go off the tablets, but 3 weeks later asked me for it again because he was very agitated and the brain did not want to keep up with his daily work.
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"Donecept is a specific and reversible inhibitor of acetylcholinesterase, indicated for the symptomatic treatment of mild to moderately severe Alzheimer’s dementia".
I don't understand why you are not getting a definitive diagnosis. Has he seen a neurologist?
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