Do any other people have parents with cycling dementia? - AgingCare.com

Do any other people have parents with cycling dementia?

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Tomorrow is Monday. I dread it so much, because Mondays are always my mother's worst days. My mother's dementia is something I can't find anything about. It cycles. One day it is like she acts like Stage 6 and holding onto life by a thread. The next day she acts like Stage 3-4 and acts pretty normal for a woman with dementia. It has gotten to be predictable, cycling in severity on each day. Mondays are the worst. Tuesdays okay. Wednesdays bad. Thursdays okay, Fridays bad. Saturdays okay. Sundays are the only days that are off-schedule. We go to church on Sunday, so it is an up day. Then comes Monday.

What is going on? Doctors don't pay much attention when I ask. They don't know. I can't find anything about dementia cycling in severity so regularly as this. Does anyone else out there go through this or have any clues as to what might be going on? It would be nice to find out if there is some help for it, so I wouldn't dread MWF so much.

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My mum who lives with us is exhibiting a 4 day cycle. On every 4th day she becomes agitated & hallucinates, hears voices. She becomes aggressive especially towards my wife. The next day she acts as though she's drained, very tired & oblivious to everything. This continues into the next day and then day 3 she'll start to talk to imaginary people, the first signs of what's about to become the day 4 paranoia again. The cycle is totally predictable.
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Reply to Paulh0202
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Every one of these posts has something we can relate to. My husband's mother has been cycling mentally for 8 years. Her general health has not declined at all and in some ways even improved. Not being able to plan our own lives has been frustrating. On the days she is her delightful self it makes it all worth it. Her doctor told me she could go on for years perhaps. And she is 102!!!!
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Reply to BinandDennis
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Me too! Me too! My mom is up and down, around and around.
She has bi-polar.
I don't think she has Alzheimer's dementia, but something between Fronto-Temporal and Vascular.

Some days she will know my husband & son's names (never my daughter).
Some days she won't say a word. Some days she will eat and be conversational with the hospice pastor or nurse. Some days she throws everybody out of her room. Some days she sleeps all the time.

I liken it to watching a car rust. Some of it shows on the outside, a lot we can't see Until the bumper falls off.
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Reply to sandwich42plus
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I'm wondering if the cycling is the erratic effect of the neurotransmitters intermittent activity. I haven't read too much about any pattern of electrical disruption in the brain, and I'm not sure there even is a pattern. If it's random, and if it affects behavior as you're describing, maybe it is just that, i.e., random?
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Reply to GardenArtist
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I know what you mean, Mymaria. We've been in what seems like the last days so many times in the last three years. I am beginning to realize that my mother will probably outlive me. I think they use our life force to keep themselves going. :-O
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Reply to JessieBelle
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I can relate! My 92-year-old father in law has been in a nursing home since Sept. 2. He has late-stage dementia plus advanced prostate cancer. He is on Depakote, which makes him sleepy but has really kept him calm. He has all his food pureed and is unable to feed himself. Except yesterday, a friend who he likes immensely stopped to see him and he fed himself as she sat there. He hasn't done that in weeks! Some days he doesn't know where he is, can't have a conversation and then yesterday, he's using words like 'magnificent' when he was talking to her. So I certainly understand the ups and downs and feeling like there's no timetable. There are days I think he only has a few short days left and other days I think 'this can go on for a while.'
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Reply to Mymaria
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I've wondered that, too, Babalou, particularly when she became hypomanic on Remeron. I mention it to the doctors, but they don't seem very interested. I wonder if there are many doctors out there who are really very interested in what is wrong with someone after they get old. Maybe if they had to care for them they would be more interested.

My mother is taking Zoloft now. It doesn't seem to have any effect on her at all. Celexa was the same way. Why Remeron made her hypomanic and Zoloft doesn't, I don't understand. I'll have to read about the other neurotransmitters that are affected.
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Reply to JessieBelle
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Jessie; Did you say once that your mom has, or that you suspected that she had, Bipolar disorder? I'm wondering if in party, you are seeing the cycling that is sometimes seen in the patient with Bipolar disorder.
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn
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There's nothing cyclical about my mom's dementia, but there are days when it seems there is nothing mentally wrong with her at all. This morning she called me wanting to be changed because she was wet (something she usually doesn't notice at all) and her voice was strong and she seemed very lucid. It hit me that she really hasn't gotten significantly worse in almost 3 years and she could live for many more. What you said about not being able to plan for the future is bang on, that is what is so frustrating.
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Reply to cwillie
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I can't explain it, but it is disarming. It is more like a merry-go-round, with the horses going up and down, than it is like a roller coaster. We can't prepare for the end or chart a course for the future.
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