Follow
Share

My 87 yr. old mother is bedridden due to spinal stenosis. While in rehab a few months ago she started to experience cognitive impairment which we are now being told is vascular dementia. As far as we know my mother has not had a stroke. I am wondering if Spinal Stenosis can cause vascular dementia. I am also wondering what to expect in terms of progression. Currently my Mom has some trouble finding words but is most often quite pleasant and very much aware of what is going on around her.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
People can have what are called mini-strokes or silent strokes which can be, as the terms would imply, virtually unnoticed. Also, lack of blood flow to the brain can cause dementia symptoms. It sounds like your mom is a candidate for the second, if not the first.

To answer your question about whether or not vascular dementia can worsen, the answer is likely yes. Most dementia will worsen over time.

Your mom probably needs more than one specialist since a doctor who is treating her spinal stenosis - likely a rheumatologist - may not be qualified to treat her vascular dementia.

Spinal stenosis can be painful, and people who have dementia can often have trouble expressing pain, so you'll have to stay well tuned in to her need for pain relief.

Please keep checking back with us so we know how you are doing,
Carol
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I have researched this extensively as I feel this is what my mother has. Basically vascular dementia is caused by a decrease in blood flow to the brain. The symptoms and progression can be varied depending on the cause ( major stroke, multiple mini strokes or other conditions) and areas of the brain effected. It is the success in treating the underlying disease that determines the rate of decline, but it generally progresses more rapidly than alzheimers. It is said to progress in a "step wise" fashion in that there will often be obvious declines followed by plateaus or even some improvement.
My mom also has suffered from compression fractures of the spine, which are common in osteoporosis. This is separate from her vascular problems, which are the result of a long history of heart disease and stroke.
Helpful Answer (6)
Report

My mom has vascular dementia, from plaque in the arteries they say. I've been taking care of her 7 years and the progression is almost non existent. Due to a stroke hemmorage of the brain she did slowly over a year stop walking, talking, and has swallowing issues. That was close to 5 years ago and she hasn't changed since. She is 93, happy , and can laugh. I think she may outlive me lol. I have a hoyer and wheelchair and i put her in any room we are in. We also take her on mini vacation weekends. Its so so so difficult but shes my mom . We are in it for the long haul. Doctor said with the great care I give her she can live for many many years but if I put her in a Nursing home she would go straight downhill. I cant do that:0 (
Helpful Answer (6)
Report

Yes, it will get worse but as has been said already, it will be in a step-wise fashion. My mum aged 88 began showing signs of vascular dementia about 7 years ago although the two strokes that I attribute this to were some years before - maybe I didn't notice the very early signs. First signs I noticed were speech problems, inability to get words out and general slurring of speech but not all the time. Now we've reached the point where she is permanently confused, thinks characters on the TV are in the room with her, and communicates more through sounds than actual words although sometimes short sentences perfectly pronounced are forthcoming. I have found that certain events trigger a deterioration, for example she went into hospital for the removal of a lump and her blood pressure rose so high that they didn't go through with the procedure but instead gave her a very strong sedative to bring the bp down. I brought her home immediately, and it took a full week before she returned to her normal self but the dementia had really taken a hold during that time. Also, if she has an infection and has to take antibiotics we get a similar deterioration in her mind. I have tried all sorts of 'brain repair' remedies - nothing really works.
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

Reverseroles, my Mother is the very same as yours, she just turned 94 on Feb 2nd. We can't take any trips with her though, she wants her bed. She is still in charge but has trouble finding words. She still tells us tales. We just laugh with her and thank GOD for the time we have left. I am the only child. GOD bless all caregivers!
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

Yes, the simple fact is that they both are types of brain failure. In each case the individual will lose more and more cognitive function over time.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

How do you know "she is very much aware of what's going on around her?" Since she has trouble with words I'll bet she cannot describe how she is feeling. Dementia is progressive no matter what type it is and you can expect a further decline in her condition. Spinal stenosis is just a degradation of bone, which is not neural, although bone is living tissue so it all interconnects. Rather than try to wonder, speculate, question what ifs or whys, just love her for the time she has remaining.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Your doctor told you the truth. Finally someone spoke the truth. People will die fast in a nursing home. They dont care about the people there. They just want to collect money from peoples insurance companies. I lost my grandmom in a nursing home at 102 years old, not because she was dying but because they did not care about her. She lasted less than two weeks there while I took care of her for 35 years of my life. People who advocate for nursing homes should either put paper in their mouth or go live in the nursing homes themselves. The government does not really care about what goes on there. If you cannot take care of your loved ones at home then who will? Dont listen to all this crap from people who advertise nursing homes. Only the fools will listen to them. your relatives will surely die there. Everyone is for himself or herself in these places. They are selfish money making businesses. They do not care about people. Just ask any lawyer about them. No one can do much about them. They should close them down and kick out those animals who work in them.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

There are several good articles on this site about spinal stenosis, vascular dementia and Alzheimer's that you can look up using the search site box in the upper right hand corner of this page.

As far as I know Spinal Stenosis does not cause vascular dementia. They are two entirely different diseases, on of the spine and the other of the mind. Vascular dementia does get progressively worse and worse as does Alzheimer's.

Has your mother's health been evaluated by her doctor lately?
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

I never believed that I would have to go through this until it happened. I was hearing from everybody that nursing homes are the best. BS. If you dont want your relatives to be around you much longer that is where you put them because they will kill them literally by ignoring them in less than two weeks.. And they protect each other in the records by writing a lot of self serving statements. I work in the health field myself, but what they did to my parent has changed my entire opinion about the system. There are killers in the system and you better believe it.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

See All Answers
This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter