Posted by Paul
on October 31, 1999 at 13:38:54:
In Reply to: Dillusions posted by amanda barnes on October 28, 1999 at 02:20:26:
: Hi. I am a 23 year old Masters student in Chicago. My Grandmother got diagnosed a little over 6 months ago with Alzheimers Disease. It has been a time of emotional ups and downs. The hardest thing for me to deal with is when my Grandmother starts accusing her children (my mom in specific) of stealing from her. She will often slip into these crying or yelling sessions because she wonders how her children could do this to her? Is it "normal" for people with Alzheimers Disease to have dillusions about what is happening to them? Any information would be much appreciated.
Paul: it is very common for any dementia sufferer to have transient delusions particularly of the persecutory, paranoid type. Alzheimer' Disease suffers frequently have impaired reality testing, and can have delusions such as believing that their possessions are being stollen, or that they are being poisoned. Hallucinations can occur also, for example seeing small people moving around. These symptoms are understandable from either a dynamic point of view (a reaction to the losses involved) or from a neurological point, since the global loss of neurons can affect areas responsible for reality testing. An understanding response from carers, neither arguing nor colluding with the delusional ideas is the best form of management. Occasionally the syptoms can be so troublesome as to necessitate medication to suppress them (this is not always successful).