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Old 08-06-2006, 02:12 PM   #1
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Question Memory loss/Inability to draw a clock

Hi,

I'm wondering, for a friend, what it means if you have memory loss and are unable to draw a clock. I've been given this clock-drawing excercise before (I'd had a stroke -- I could always draw the clock), but what does it mean when you can't? I know that her memory has been tested (dunno what kind of tests they did), and the clock thingy, and I don't know what else. She's in her 60's -- are they looking for ALZ? (She can't do the clock, BTW. I'm assuming her memory isn't so great either -- two of her friends insisted that her DH had to see that she had this/these test/s. She'd just had a hip replacement, so he was able to ask the doctor to do it "as part of an overall health checkup".)

I think it's serious, whatever it is.

Thanks,

jb
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Last edited by jinglebts; 08-13-2006 at 10:35 AM.

 
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Old 08-06-2006, 03:44 PM   #2
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Re: Memory loss/Inability to draw a clock

I think that has to do with sequencing ...

If you can't sequence .. you can have a lot of trouble doing other things

Eg: Pick up the fork to put the food on to then put it in your mouth.

People who have trouble sequencing may use the wrong cutlery, or no cutlery at all!!

Or it may have to do with focus ...

Eg: you may see things differently to others

Hope this helps
Cheers

Last edited by angel_bear; 08-06-2006 at 03:44 PM.

 
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Old 08-06-2006, 03:58 PM   #3
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Re: Memory loss/Inability to draw a clock

Quote:
Originally Posted by angel_bear
I think that has to do with sequencing ...

If you can't sequence .. you can have a lot of trouble doing other things

Eg: Pick up the fork to put the food on to then put it in your mouth.

People who have trouble sequencing may use the wrong cutlery, or no cutlery at all!!

Or it may have to do with focus ...

Eg: you may see things differently to others

Hope this helps
Cheers
Yes, it does ... and I think they are looking for AD ...

I just looked up the clock test on my browser, and it can be more complicated than I thought -- for example, if you have most of the numbers bunched at bottom, that's not as bad as completely omitting the 12/6/9/or 3 ...

Oh dear ...

jb
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Old 08-06-2006, 04:50 PM   #4
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Re: Memory loss/Inability to draw a clock

Yes, jb, it does sound like they are looking for signs of dementia. But that doesn't mean she has Alzheimer's. There are various forms of dementia and some are temporary due to thyroid malfunction, medication side effects, small strokes etc.

If the doctors have ruled out all the other things, then they will probably label her sickness 'dementia' . I hope it is still early enough to get some benefit from the drugs available out there.

Meanwhile, this diagnosis does not mean you have lost your friend. She will go downhill but very gradually and will still have a lot of 'quality of life' left for many years to come.

I hope her family members will take care of the technical matters like Power of Attorney and Health Proxy etc. That gets harder to do when the person cannot understand what it is all about.

Try to keep on being a good friend and accept the changes that will take place. It is best never to argue with an AD patient, just take what they say with a grain of salt (or a whole shaker full).

I went through it all with my Mom. It took many years from the first signs of it to now, when she is probably in Stage 6.

love,

Martha

Last edited by Martha H; 08-06-2006 at 04:52 PM.

 
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Old 08-07-2006, 11:12 AM   #5
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Re: Memory loss/Inability to draw a clock

JB knows all about thyroid issues. She's one of my friends from the thyroid board.

BTW, I changed my username. Since AD is a very sensitive subject with families, anonymity is very important here. My sister figured out my old username and found this board. I posted some truths that she didn't like. So I changed my username to one that won't give me away so easily. Please edit the PS out of your first post for security reasons. LOL. Thanks.

It's so good to hear from you but I'm so sorry your friend is having memory problems.

I image that the doctors have have done an MRi to rule out brian tumors at this point. They are probably trying to figure out what type of neurological problem your friend is having now or if it's something else..

There are many different types of dementia (AD being one) and what med works for one type may not work well for another.

Dad's doc ordered an MRI for dad which showed a meningioma on top of his brain. Doctor's concluded that it isn't the cause of his memory loss and personality changes. Dad never did the written part of the test. He did so bad on the verbal part that I guess the doc didn't need any more proof. He was asked what month it was. It was October. He said July. Who was the president? I don't know. How many children? He looked at me and said with a question mark "Six, right?" He couldn't remember his phone # but that was nothing new. He never remembered that. But he forgot his address of 26 years. That alarmed me. He forgot how to cook everything but fried egg sandwiches. Now he can't cook at all. Doctor's orders. He finally gave up driving about 14 months ago. He needs to be in a NH now but I can't see my sister agreeing to that. So he's at her house and has been for over a year.

Looking back, I'd say I first noticed this disease pop up in him about 12 years ago, maybe longer.

You are a dear friend for being so concerned. I hope your friend gets an answer to his/her problem soon.

Love, Barb
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Old 08-12-2006, 10:17 PM   #6
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Re: Memory loss/Inability to draw a clock

A social worker once told me the clock test was just a basic way to checking for orientation/cognitive ability, etc...

 
Old 02-17-2008, 02:13 PM   #7
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Re: Memory loss/Inability to draw a clock

Just to keep you up-to-date, Barb, she has now been dx'd with dementia (probably AD, but that can only be dx'd at autopsy, as you know). She's my ex's wife. Having been married to him for ten years, I know that he is uniquely unsuited to being a caregiver. I've kept in touch with him over the years, just spoke to him about a month ago. He sounded very shaken -- unhappy and worried. I feel so sorry for all of them.

My aunt has had it for years, of course. She recently had an episode of shingles in her skull, so had to go off her AD meds for about a month ... it was all very difficult.

jb
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