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My (81) year old wife has advanced Alzheimer’s. Our 10th year since diagnosis. We have been doing very well, but (3) months ago she had (3) full body seizures. Never had a seizure before that. Those are under control with anti-seizure meds but she has now started having very mild “petit mal” or “absence seizures” every time she is eating her meals. I can count on one, at least, sometimes two. Obviously I have to then stop feeding to prevent choking. Has anyone experienced this just during meals and any helpful hints?
Jim M

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Bigjim, sometimes seizures can be triggered by a certain sound. Such as a fork scrapping across a dish, or one putting down a tea cup into a saucer.

Even pets can react to such sounds. One of my cats had a full body seizure when he accidentally bumped his Corningware bowls together which make a high pitch ting sound.

I realize it won't be easy to check every move or every sound while dining. Do what you can to see if there is a pattern.
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Some seizures that occur during mealtime can be caused by certain foods! Stimulants such as tea, coffee, chocolate, sugar, sweets, soft drinks, excess salt, spices and animal proteins may trigger seizures by suddenly changing the body's metabolism.

Foods thought to be bad for seizures: white bread; non-wholegrain cereals; biscuits and cakes; honey; high-sugar drinks and foods; fruit juices; chips; mashed potatoes; parsnips; dates and watermelon. In general, processed or overcooked foods and over-ripe fruits.

It may be worth your while to pay attention to WHAT foods your wife is eating when she has a seizure; keep notes, see if you can attribute a certain food to her having a seizure.

I am no expert, by any means, just sharing a theory that may or may not work.
GOOD LUCK!
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My MIL had periodic seizures. We were told it was part of Alzheimers. We would get a call periodically to see if we wanted to send her to the ER. The family usual answer was to keep her comfortable.
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My brother was diagnosed with probable early Lewy's Dementia, and his "seizure" and swallow deficit episode ALWAYS occurred at table, usually when out to eat in a restaurant. I myself began to wonder if there was some vago-vagal nerve thing going that would cause this. Could happen also when standing at sink, drinking water, so I believe it had something to do with swallow, which is a more complex process than we imagine it to be. As a nurse it was of "interest" to me, but no neuro person involved in his diagnosis seemed to have an answer. If someone gets one I sure would be interested.
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You need to make her neurologist aware of even these absent seizures.

My grandson suffered from Grand mals and absent seizures and he had to notify his neurologist every time he had one. Helped in adjusting his meds. He is epileptic. Since a Dementia damages the brain, seizures are not uncommon.
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My Husband (Alzheimer's diagnosis but I think he also may have had Vascular dementia) developed what the Hospice nurse called Myoclonic Seizures. They lasted a few seconds, although it seemed longer at the time.
They can be triggered by a number of things. Tiredness, fever, light stimulation, stress to name a few.
If your wife's seizures occur only when she is eating it could be a trigger for her. If that is the case try feeding her at a different time, in a different place or possibly put on some nice relaxing music, talk to her in a quiet calming voice.
And I would not make a "fuss" when it is over, just go about the routine you were doing.
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My husband used to have grand mal seizures,(caused by scar tissue from his massive stroke years ago) either first thing in the morning(shortly after getting out of bed) or at the breakfast table, and his neurologist could never tell me why. He was always wiped out after them, that he never wanted to finish eating, but wanted to sleep. He then started to have seizures only on Sundays, and again his neurologist had no explanation. It took many years and many different medications to keep the grand mal seizures at bay, but he continued to have seizures for years. He ended up on 3 different seizure medications at very high doses for many years. It even appeared that he was having seizures early on in his dying process.

I would certainly tell her neurologist about them, and perhaps it's time to up the dose of her seizure medicine or time to add another. Wishing you the best.
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