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Alzheimer's Disease & Dementia Message Board
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Old 01-02-2007, 07:53 PM   #1
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SO confused !

Ok so I posted earlier in December that my Mom was in a psych hospital. I need some guidance. Sorry for the long post, but i want to make sure I get everything in here

We had a family meeting last Friday at the psych hospital. The head psych doctor there said they've run tests on my Mother (60 years old) and there is nothing wrong "at all" with her brain. There are no signs of dementia and shes has major depression for the past 4 years that has gone untreated. Her neuro system shut down in response to her major depression the dr said.

It went untreated because we've been bringing her back and forth to doctors. No doctor was ever able to say, after running MRI's, Brain spects, neuro - cog testing, or spinal taps that it was dementia. They just kind of shrugged and said "well, she displays some symptoms of dementia. Shes depressed, her concentration is bad and she doesnt speak well. Go home and lets schedule another test". What happened was about 5 years ago my Mom complained of depression. Her regular MD put her on whatever popular anti-depressant was out then (prozac?). It didnt help. Then a few months later she quit work. She hit a parked car so she stopped driving. She basically shut down all together. We never believe it was dementia but were beginning to accept it because the Dr's could never put a finger on it. We've been to 3 neurologists, a "geriatric specialist" who specializes in alzheimers and dementia (Hes the one who told us to go to the psych hospital), 2 thyroid drs, several regular MD's, etc. It seems anti-depressants dont work for her as she was on at least 3 different ones for months and her depression snowballed. It finally led to psychosis - paranoia, delusions, hallucinations, aggression. Her memory has always been fine.

Im so confused. Ive been down this road before. A few years ago a Dr told us it was her thyroid to cause her to act like this. Problem was, shes been on thyroid medicine for years, the dr just adjusted it (it was so slightly out of whack it was barely negligble). Anyways I dont want to get excited yet. My mother has been in the psych hospital for 1 month and has had 2 ECT's (shock treatments). The Psych doctor says that after 3-4 shock treatments we are going to be in for a big treat! That sounds so wrong, but the shock treatments arent like what they used to be. They anesetize you and paralyze your body from the neck down so the shock stays in your brain.

Bottom line here is I need some guidance. Do I call the family and tell them what the psych doctor said or do I wait and see? I mean if the dr was willing to meet with me and tell me this they would be positive right? If this is true and she gets better Im going to call that medical mysteries show on the discovery health channel! Im serious. What should I do - run with this and hope the Dr is right or just not get my hopes up yet?

Last edited by Chris26MI; 01-02-2007 at 07:55 PM.

 
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Old 01-02-2007, 11:41 PM   #2
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Smile Re: SO confused !

A few years ago, my neighbor was depressed. I believe she was on meds for awhile that didn't seem to help and then I hear she was getting shock treatments which I thought was a bit extreme. I have to tell you she did get better after that. I don't even know if she remembers she had this shock treatment. Not my business anyway. I wouldn't dare ask her about it. This poor woman is doing better and now keeps busy by helping out at a senior center, then she lost her husband, and recently had a pacemaker installed. All these things should have made her more depressed but she is hanging on. She looks good! So...yes there is hope! Just keep doing what u r doing. Taking her and talking to the doctors. Being there for her. Let her vent her thoughts and feel loved. Keep us posted.
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Old 01-03-2007, 04:15 AM   #3
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Re: SO confused !

Dear Chris, yes, there is hope that the shock treatment will help her. As you said, they are not the terrible thing we used to see in old films. Much improvement has been made in this area. You might as well tell her family doctor about it. God luck! Wouldn't it be wonderful if she got well again - which never happens if it is Alzheimer's.

Love,

Martha

 
Old 01-04-2007, 06:16 AM   #4
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Re: SO confused !

when people have such severe depression that they basically can't function then shock treatment can be very effective and the results can be quiet astonishing to see. it is true that it usually takes 3-4 sessions for the improvement so give it time to see what effect it has for her.

cetatainly depression affects memory, concentration and motivation which can look like some early dementia symtoms .

I really hope that it is effective for you mum and she improves. Fingers crossed for you!!

louie

 
Old 01-25-2007, 07:33 AM   #5
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Re: SO confused !

UPDATE:
The psych hospital, after 12 ECT (shock treatments) is releasing my Mother next Thursday (2-1-07). What they found was after being in the Psych hospital for 2 months and after 12 ECT's that she is still "demented". They were hoping that it was all psychiatric illness but after doing a new CAT scan and EEG, it is in fact severe dementia

I'll just be glad to get her out of the psych hosp. While she was there they let her fall, after she fell they sedated her because she was "agitated" (would you be too if your caregivers let you fall and didnt do anything about your swollen shut bleeding black and purple eye?), then after over sedating her they lost vitals. She had to be rushed to the local ER where they pumped her full of fluids and got her blood pressure up from 64/39.

So needless to say her little visit at St. Joes East was a trip and a half! We are all really bummed out that it is dementia but glad that shes no longer psychotic. They really did "fix her up" so her quality of life is really good now for the remaining time we have with her.

 
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