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Old 04-02-2007, 09:24 AM   #1
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My dad has alzheimers, and I need some advice. Please..

hi everyone,
i am fairly new to this board, my dad was diagnosed withe early onset alzheimers about 1 yr ago, he is 67 yrs old and the most wonderful dad and friend, we are very close and this is all just breaking my heart.

he has been having dizzy spells along with the feeling he is going to collapse and then his legs give out. he has had several of these over the past few weeks. he had an MRI, blood work and a scan to check for the cartoid artery disease. the MRI showed no stroke and all other tests came back fine. he is going to a new heart dr. to see if the combination of his meds might be causing this. his neurologist does not seem to think it is related to the alzheimers.
i am at a loss, he had another one this morning. my step-mom is having a hard time. i keep telling her that i want to be more involved and please let me help. she is trying to protect me but i told she cant. he is my dad and i need to know everything. i am going with the 2 of them next week to an Alzhimers symposium in NYC it is from 9-3:30. i need to go through this with both of them and they know this.

regarding the dizziness/collapsing, does this sound familiar? what else could it be if all the tests came back fine?? i am nervous and when i talk to my dad i can hear his nervousness and it sets him back.

please help, any advice would be great.
thanks
liz

 
Old 04-02-2007, 10:20 AM   #2
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Re: My dad has alzheimers, and I need some advice. Please..

Dear Liz,

In my opinion (my Mom has had AD for about 7 years, maybe closer to 10) dizziness and fainting spells have nothing at all to do with AD. However a series of small strokes could be causng both the dizziness, and the brain damage that leads to AD. I am hoping that his tests will show some kind of mini strokes which can then be kept under control by medications. If he is in the very early stages of AD, he has a long time to keep on with his normal life before it handicaps him a lot. If it is sure he has AD, he should be on the drugs that help in the beginning, because later on they won't work.

Consult a neurologist, perhaps even a geriatric neurologist (although he is young, my age!) and try to get whatever help he can take at this stage.

My mother was able to live at home, with me, for many years before her Dementia got so bad that she had to go to a Nursing Home.

Remember too, that there is a tremendous amount of research going on right now, and some are saying there is a drug ''in the pipeline." It will come out too late to help my Mom, who is now in stage 7. But your Dad may be one of the first to benefit from it and be completely cured! I hope so! He might inquire about drug trials.

Love,

Martha

 
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Old 04-02-2007, 10:51 AM   #3
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Re: My dad has alzheimers, and I need some advice. Please..

thank you martha,
he has had mri's and they show no stroke activity, so we are baffled.

he is actually part of a study at cornell in nyc and they are hoping this study works, he has been a part of it for about 8 months now.

unfortunately i read in the alzheimers newsletter that pres. bush is cutting his budgets for 2008 on medical research, etc and that would affect a lot in the area of alzheimers.

thank you again and i am so sorry to hear about your dad.

 
Old 04-02-2007, 02:49 PM   #4
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Re: My dad has alzheimers, and I need some advice. Please..

I would definitely find out all the medications he is currently taking. Statin drugs, for example, have been known to cause confusion, weakness, etc. My FIL, who has dementia from several small strokes, was falling all the time at his nursing home. It was a combination of drugs that caused his unsteadiness. Since some of the drugs have been reduced and phased out he has not fallen.

Jane

 
Old 04-02-2007, 10:44 PM   #5
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Re: My dad has alzheimers, and I need some advice. Please..

Hi Liz,

My dad has alzheimers and parkinsons. He is moderate to worse. He was feeling dizzy and his legs would give out on him. It was very hard for us to get him back up. But, if he sat there for awhile, he would be able to get up with our help.

His dizziness came a lot of the time, after a big meal. We tell him when he first stands up, to wiggle and move his legs before he walks.

Another reason why he was dizzy, was that his blood pressure was very low. It was usually about 100/50 to about 90/40. The doctor finally suggested a pacemaker (even though it is not good to put alz patients thru procedures), and that has helped bring up his pulse and his blood pressure. He was also told to use lots of salt for his low blood pressure/pulse - before the pacemaker.

I hope that this helps a bit, one way of the other.

Love, Wannabe

 
Old 04-04-2007, 09:25 AM   #6
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Re: My dad has alzheimers, and I need some advice. Please..

Liz, I've got few questions.

Does your step mom give your dad his meds or does he still take them on his own?

Is your step mom ensuring that every pill is swallowed and not spit out or dropped from his hand when she isn't watching?

Are his medications kept out of his reach?

My dad has AD and is also on heart meds. When he was still taking them on his own, he would sometimes forget he took them and would take them again. Sometimes, he would drop a pill or two and not notice it. Sometimes, he would forget to take the pills. Then when he went for blood tests and such, the doctor would increase/decrease or add/change meds not knowing that the reason his tests were messed up because he wasn't taking his meds correctly. When meds were changed, he sometimes took the old meds as well as the new. He got to the point where he was EXACTLY like you discribe your dad to be with the dizziness and all. We had to take him off ALL meds and then slowly re-introduce some of them to him. That's when I took charge of med ordering and distrabution. No more problems after that. We went from 13 different meds to 6.

Hope this helps.

Love, Barb
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Last edited by LuvMyLilDoggie; 04-04-2007 at 09:26 AM.

 
Old 04-04-2007, 06:02 PM   #7
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Re: My dad has alzheimers, and I need some advice. Please..

thank you all for your help. i believe my stepmom helps to make sure he takes his meds. he is also on prostate medication b/c his psa levels were on the high side.
he is going to a new vascular dr. tomorrow to figure what is going on b/c his current heart dr. does not seem to be helping very much.
he had another epsiode yesterday, i really hope they can figure out what is causing this.

thanks again and best wishes,
liz

 
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