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My mother is about to turn 88. She has had trouble with reasoning ability and memory for years. Last year she was diagnosed with dementia. The symptoms seemed to be accelerating until about a month ago. She still doesn't have good reasoning ability, but her memory has been very good for her age. What is going on? She seemed like she was going into the later stages of dementia. Now she seems nearly okay mentally, though physically she still has troubles. She isn't perfect -- she still has lapses and periods of confusion, but nothing like she was having before.

This is a blessing. It would be even more of a blessing if meanness was not coming back. She has started blaming me anytime she has a personal shortcoming.

I no longer understand what is going on with her and why her memory is improving. I just know that it is. I don't know if it will last. It does make me realize that cognitive decline is tricky to predict. There are so many things, e.g. sugar levels, thyroid, cortisol, medications, moods -- that play a part. We have a doctor's appointment Wednesday. Maybe her doctor will test her again to see if she is improving or if I'm just going crazy.

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I've been almost afraid to say anything for fear I would jinx it. My mother has always had good and bad days, but there has been a period of ultra-good days. I think it has been 2 or 3 weeks now. She is remembering things, like what day it is, when she has appointments, what people are doing or saying. She is remembering to take her pills without me having to chase her around with them. The only major difference I can see in what she has been doing is eating bacon and eggs for breakfast, instead of those instant waffles sopped with sugar-free syrup. I always had the feeling those things were not good for her -- carbs doused with an sugar alcohol. How could they be? We also get warned away from bacon and eggs because of cholesterol. But really... what does it leave us to eat for breakfast, since all breakfast foods have been deemed bad except bran muffins and fruit.

I don't want to be too optimistic. I really don't know what to think about it. I guess it would be best not to think about it too much. It might jinx it.
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h*ll doctors even know very little about phsycological inconsistancies . my mom also became docile and sweeter than shed ever been in her life as her dementia worstened . edna is getting rather late stage and some days shes shaky and appears near nervous collapse and other days shes chuckling and teasing nh staff and quite in the present . mood fluctuations affect us all imo , even aside from aging and illness ..
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My son has just gotten off his diabetes medications. (He was diagnosed 13 years ago.) That's wonderful, I told him. Have you been exercising more? He claimed not -- maybe a little less because of change in his leisure pursuits. Has your diet improved? Again, he did not think there was any change and certainly not a deliberate one.

So how come his blood sugars are now close to "normal" with no treatment at all? Who in tarnation knows!? It is a good thing, while it lasts. We both are skeptical that it will last forever.

Cognition in dementia fluctuates. It sounds like some changes in your mother are for the better, others are reverting to previous bad levels. Why? Maybe you'll figure it out, perhaps with the help of the doctor. And maybe, like my son, you will never really know why these changes occurred. Enjoy the improvements while they last.

As Coy's physical problems increased in the final stage, his reasoning powers improved. He also seemed more empathetic than he had been able to be for years. I have no idea why.
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I like where Maggie was going. What changed recently in her diet, meds. activities or just plain stimulation? Are you jotting down certain activities now that you have noticed this?

Can one improve from dementia/AD?

So sorry Jesse about the meanness your mother shows you. Maybe with this new revelation you can just nip it in the bud and not feel bad about it. Or , like i did, just ignored it and continued on ( plus whined on here ) ((((hugs))) I'd love it if you would also take some of that advice so appreciated by me, to YOU!
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See the improvements as a positive note on your end. No matter how rude or demanding your Mom can turn out to be especially during the times when she is confused and not her normal self. It would be better to see your Mom improving than getting deeper into dementia. Yes dementia is so unpredictable and affected by many things, but as a caregiver, seeing that little glimpse of hope matters, no matter how little that spark of hope may be.
Talking to your medical doctor is indeed the best thing that you can do. But of course, you could expect the same explanations for the changes of your Mom’s behavior. It may be brought by the diet she is having right now, or the situation she is in. If her stress levels are declining and at peace with everyone around her, seeing positive changes in her is such a great thing.
I guess the thing that bothers you the most right now is the possibility of recovering from dementia. Every relative of someone with this degenerative disease looks forward in seeing their love ones back to their own selves back again. Recovering from dementia or any type of Alzheimer disease is rarely impossible but recent studies are showing that in the very near future, a cure might be possible, but for the moment, no cure is available for this disease. The medications available are just substances that slow down the process.
Going back to your Mom’s case, put into mind the changes in the lifestyle and habits that she had during the time that you saw the improvements. These things might directly or indirectly contribute to the improvements that she is displaying right now. As a caregiver, you should be very wary of these things and expose her to situations and environments that you think improves her condition. You should also inform your medical doctor about these changes and items that might have been a factor in the improvements that you are seeing.
In the end, what matters the most is that you should feel blessed that you are seeing improvements with your Mom’s memory. Any good sign is a good sign and I look forward in hearing more positive developments about your Mom.
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Oh, I'm sure you're not going crazy. Whether or not it's measurable is probably another kettle of fish. But trust yourself on this one: she's getting better.

Has she changed meds? Was she malnourished a year ago and has since, under your care, improved her eating habits? Those are two things I would think about. But for whatever reason? She's improved in the memory category. Good news!
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