Mom has started substituting words. Should I be concerned?

Follow
Share

Mom's main problem is osteoporosis and arthritis. Lately she has started substituting words - "aisle" for "hallway", "truffle" for "toffee" - things like that, and she is WAY overdoing it on days she knows she has other things she wants to later on - which she has always been careful about conserving her energy for important events. Also, she has gotten irritable a couple of times, which in not like my sweet mother at all. Is this something I should be concerned about? How should I bring this up?

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
13

Answers

Show:
If I remember right, she got a 25 both times. I'm not sure I would have scored as well. But then, I could be remembering it wrong. I keep telling Mom, between her and me, we don't have a brain cell left (I have fibromyalgia and epilepsy, for which I take topamax, which I like to refer to as dopamax, for it's dumbing down effect).
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I'm gonna chime in as a psychologist here; you don't "pass" cognitive tests, you get a score. The score may tell you that there is no dementia or decline going on, but once you have a baseline, you can measure from there. I like to tell folks that these tests pretend that you are a helium balloon, we want to see how high you can go; not like a test you study for and then get a passing grade or not.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I think this is an important change and the neurologist needs to look in her head to see what is happening, then make sure the prescriptions match the problem. Usually the observed (from the outside) symptoms work well enough, but this involves at least one discreet area of her brain, or more. Might be time for a CAT scan or MRI. (I am not medical, so not sure which). Keep in mind that one illness or condition does not prevent another separate condition, they can both happen.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

She takes a LOT of calcium because of the osteoporosis, so I will have her blood checked for excess levels as well as UTI's. Thanks!
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Chiming in with the UTI.....has really weird symptoms!
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Bloodwork time.. Check her calcium level, I had this happen to me. I wasn't confused just had too much Calcium and that can cause mild seizures or blood clots hence strokes if untreated.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

There is a dementia type called semantic dementia that is difficulty with using the correct words and asking the name of something familiar. Does she ever ask what a bird is for instance? Not the type like sparrow, but actually does not know what something is called.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Thank you all for your helpful suggestions. I hadn't thought of the silent strokes, or of it being a side effect of seizure activity. She does have a neurologist, and has another appointment fairly soon. She has had 2 previous cognitive tests (which she passed, no problems), so there is already a record of how she did in the past. Again, thanks so much.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

In looking up aphasia (which may be what your mom has with her substitution of words) I found that it can also be a side effect of seizure activity. So it sounds like it would be a good time to get her to a neurologist (or whoever is giving her the seizure meds) for a follow-up. If she isn't seeing a neurologist, it would be a good time to get her started with one. Good luck and keep us posted.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I would think about taking her to see a neurologist who specializes in elders. She may be having small silent strokes. They might want to put her on a blood thinner if she's not already on one. You might want to get some baseline cognitive testing. If you don't have power of attorney, health care proxy and the like, now is the time to get them.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.