Follow
Share

Mom started out with MCI (Mild Cognitive Impairment) about 8-9 years ago and it slowly progressed till last summer she was diagnosed officially with Alzheimer's after her brain scans showed damage indicative of Alzheimer's as primary and vascular/mixed as secondary. Up until the last six months she was able to go for walks in the park and her gym work outs with no real balance or shuffling issues. She has declined in the past six months and her confusion and gait and shuffling has gotten much worse in the past month. When I look at video's showing the Parkinsonian gait/shuffle that's exactly how she's walking now. Just this week we started helping her in the shower and are considering a walker too. She has neurologist appointments every three months, so she's going in two weeks. Hard to believe 3 months ago they watched her walk down the hallway and thought she looked fine. Her father had Parkinson's, her brother has Alzheimer's. Do you think it's possible she's developing Parkinson's on top of her Alzheimer's, or maybe that's just the pattern of the brain damage and it's now affecting her dopamine levels? Can you think of any good questions I should bring up at the next neurologist's appointment in two weeks? UGH...this stinks.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
Yes, it does stink. My mom has mixed dementia as well, but has not walked for several years, primarily due to arthritis, weakness, debilitation.

Most people with Parkinson's Disease do develop some dementia as time goes on. The neurologist will be able to determine whether your mom has PD too, and there may be some medications to help.

Unfortunately, there is no cure for dementia, and nothing really helps to slow its progression. My mom lived with my brother and his wife for almost 10 years, until behavioral issues worsened. She was having a lot of anxiety as my sister-in-law was having her own health problems.

In May 2015, I moved my mom to an elder care foster home within 5 minutes from my house. They provide 24 hour care, and my mother does what she can for herself, with supervision. Her anxiety is much reduced now, as she is not so worried about my brother's wife.

I do visit her a few times a week, and take her to appointments, to get her hair done, to lunch. She uses a wheelchair, and I found that getting a "transport" wheelchair was much lighter for me to lift and fits well in the trunk of my car.

I hope your mom will receive some hopeful news during her next appointment. I would be happy to be of support to you and your family any way I can. I know it is very difficult when our parent is going through these changes.
Helpful Answer (9)
Report

My mother's diagnosis of Parkinson's came came from a GP rather than a neurologist after she was already severely physically compromised so the classic Parkinson's gait wasn't observed. My mom does have a pronounced tremor (but had a previous essential tremor) and mask like expression but I've felt uncertain about the diagnosis as that could also be due to Parkinsonism after multiple TIAs. There will be other symptoms the neurologist would look for in order to diagnose Parkinson's, the litmus test would be to try sinemet to see if it relieves any of her symptoms.
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

You might want to ask your doctor or doctors to test for Lewy Body Dementia . It is often diagnosed for parkinsons w/ dementia. I think i read the only way to get proper diagnosis is a specific CT

My Mom was tentatively diagnosed with that and i had thought she was starting to get Parkinsons becuase she was having tremors
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

Most definitely bring it up and maybe either write a note to convey this concern and your observations to hand the staff to give to MD at your appointment or call ahead to voice the concern. I would also wonder about medications and if one is contributing. I think in our area there may be exercise/dance classes/programs because they have found this helps...
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

If it is Parkinson, see if there is a Delay the Disease class nearby. It is an exercise class developed specifically for those with all stages of Parkinson’s. My mom loved it until her dementia got to the point where she really couldn’t follow it anymore.
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

It's possible that she has Parkinsons, especially as her parent did. And gait disturbances like this can be part of Alzheimer's. But it's also possible that the Parkinson like gait and symptoms are the result of medications that she is taking for her MCI. The sooner she see the neurologist the better. This kind of side effect can be permanent so it it's the meds, they need to be adjusted or changed soon.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

Mok has Alzheimer's and not Parkinson's. She has the shuffling gait that has progressed to a toddlers walk. She uses a walker
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Ask your doctor to check for Parkinson's Disease. He/she will do the test right there in his'her office. My dad was just seen by his neurologist and he did the test without my asking. He did it because he noticed that my dad's expression doesn't change and he doesn't blink very much. He was on a medication that had a side effect of tremors (which my dad had both shaking hands and legs). He discontinued the medication and started a new one to see if the tremors stop. He just said that he was pretty sure that my dad has Parkinson's Disease. My father has Alzheimer's Disease and Vascular Dementia.

When I got home, I did some of my own research. There is also a disorder that mimics PD. My mother had PD and Lewy Body Dementia, she passed in 2005. It hit me really hard to know that my dad may go down the same road that mom did. The difference is that we had each other for support, and I don't have much support. Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP) is something else that you may want to check out if your mom doesn't have tremors.

I hope that everything goes well for you and your mom. This journey is definitely not for the faint at heart. Be well!
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Update, turns out Mom had high levels of ammonia caused by one of her medications, the Depakote which helped her stabilize her mood swings. We had to discontinue that medicine, and really haven't found one that works as well. On top of that, she's been spotting in her pantyliners, and I must take her to the gynecologist. I'm not sure how successful the trip to the doc will be, she won't let anyone draw blood at her memory care home, can't imagine how she's going to react to a speculum and exam? They are giving her some Valium before we head out, hope it helps keep her agreeable so we can figure out why she's spotting. Finger's crossed it's something easily treatable...I'm feeling very anxious myself because she's been spam calling me this evening and very unhappy, yelling and cursing at me over the phone. Maybe she'll get it all out tonight and tomorrow will be OK.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report
JJGood: So I assume by "spotting" you mean urine? "Maybe she'll get it all out tonight" is only hopeful at best. Good luck. Praying for you.
(1)
Report
I think by spotting she means bleeding from her vagina.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report
NYDaughterInLaw: No, her mother is 78 years old.
(0)
Report
See 1 more reply
See All Answers
This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.

Ask a Question

Subscribe to
Our Newsletter