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Prior to my 91 year old mother's stoke, she was independent and fully functioning on her own. Since the stroke she is no longer able to be by herself and has around the clock caregivers. Her mood is so sad, she doesn't hold a conversation anymore, doesn't seem to be interested in anything.


Has anyone else experienced this in their loved one? If so, were they treated with medication to help with mood? I'm just finding it hard to see her look so down all the time.

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There are antidepressants which can boost her mood, however, when the language skills are diminishing in dementia the hippocampus is being affected in the brain, and this is in the "late" stage of the disease process. My husband can barely form more than four words to a sentence before he forgets what he was talking about, and since I was just at the neurologist's office to ask about my own migraine issue, I asked the doctor specifically about this condition (since I took him to the same doctor), and the doctor stated this was "late" stage. Prepare for the worse, and I am sorry you are having to see the ravages of this illness. As a nurse I have seen it too many times to count, and it is especially hard when I see it in my own beloved. Best wishes!
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Shaylee: Thanks for your response. Mom is on 20 mg. 1x a day. I'll make sure we keep her at that level!
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Multiple strokes and vascular dementia caused my cousin anxiety and depression. Cymbalta really helps her. She may cry at times, but once reassured, she seems to be okay and seems to be pretty content most of the time. Granted, her attention is very limited.

She may look at something that I point out to her, but only for a couple of seconds. The brain does not allow the same kind of focus and appreciation that she had before. I have learned to keep my expectations to a certain level.

I think that we see the situation through out eyes and not through the patient's eyes. I may think that she would enjoy color books, talking toys, colorful magazines, but that's my taste. I have to accept that she doesn't get enjoyment from those things anymore. The brain does not allow her to. So, I try to provide as much comfort and care based on what she does enjoy. With her, it's food. She loves chips, cookies and Dr. Pepper. I treat her whenever I visit. She smiles and talks about how much she enjoys the treats. (She used to enjoy holding her doll, but she's stopped doing that now.)

If you experiment, you might find something that she might still have interest in, but some patients no longer have the ability to enjoy pictures, tv., etc. Sometimes, gently applying lotion or playing soothing music may all you can do.
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Definitely yes, there are medications that can help with depression. But dementia is another matter. The medications available for dementia are worth trying, but don't even claim to improve the dementia. Their claim is that they slow down the worsening of the process. As for her lack of interest in people and her surrounings: This can be a function of depression; in which case it might improve with th anti depressants. But it can also be part of the dementia, in which case , it would be more difficult to alter. Likely it's a bit of both. Good luck.
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Hi, I just wanted to mention a word of caution with citalopram. It is not recommended in doses over 20mg for adults over 60. My mom was on 40mg (She also had multiple strokes/vascular dementia), prescribed by her neurologist. She ended up in the hospital recently due to severe nausea/vomiting. A psychiatrist met with her and wrote a report stating she should not be on the citalopram and her current dose can cause heart related issues in adults over 60. She immediately started to wean her off, and since she has been home the neurologist had agreed to discontinue it all together. I'm all for antidepressants but a lot has been coming out about citalopram lately that is concerning, so a word of caution on that one.
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How about a non-medication solution (or at least worth a try). Does one of the caregivers have a pet that could visit? My parents have a cat, and just having it in their laps and the act of petting greatly reduces stress for both of them. I have seen pet visits in nursing homes bring about some remarkable changes. The local humane society may have a visiting pet program that could help. I remember one woman who had not spoken in a very long time. A kitten was brought in for a visit. When the humane society came the next month, she asked where's my kitten? Everyone was amazed. Even a stuffed animal is sometimes helpful. And no cleaning up afterwards.
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My MIL has dementia also and are on both Citalopram and Mirtazapine. She is very happy compared to a few yrs back and hardly ever has a crying episode. Hope you MIL gets on something and has a happier end of her life cycle. She was put on Citalopram first.
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I had the same experience with my mom, who suffered A stroke and is experiencing confusion and dementia. She has been depressed, and we have had her on the citalopram for over a year with fairly good results.
She still gets depressed and cries at times, but most of the time she seems fairly balanced.

It's so difficult to see the slow progression of stroke related dementia in a very independent and modern woman who will soon be 88.
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My mother was given antidepressant medication as part of her post stroke rehab. Another one was added about 6 months later. They've helped her mood tremendously
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Sorry nobody answered you question sooner. Your mother is very old and has had a debilitating stroke. It's hard, but I think it is all part of the inevitable decline at the end of life. She may still have years with you, but even without the stroke dementia is progressive and much more than memory loss. My mom also has withdrawn into herself, and I agree, it is sad. One thing that helped for a while to give me a little of my mom back was mirtazapine, although it was mostly prescribed for her agitation and sleep problems.
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