It appears you have not yet Signed Up with our community. To Sign Up for free, please click here....



Alzheimer's Disease & Dementia Message Board
Post New Thread   Closed Thread
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 02-15-2012, 10:07 AM   #1
Member
(male)
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Serbia
Posts: 73
Bakile HB User
a neurodegenerative disease or depression mixed with other health problems?

As soon as my grandpa died from cancer, my granny became ill and fell into a huge depression. She couldn't accept that my grandpa is gone, so she wanted to die and didn't take her pills. She had a lot of water in her body (which caused the miocardiac heart attack in the end which killed her) and she was veeeery fat some time before she died she had a mild stroke, and a paresis on her lips.

She was in a hospital for some time in the beginning, shortly after grandpa died, and once she was taking her medication for heart and the water in her body she was feeling better and really fresh, so they let her go. She still couldn't believe that he is gone, but she was coming to visit our home, until about 1 year before she died.

At that point she totally didn't drink her pills, she was just sleeping, eating, and didn't want to go out. Before she went to the hospital (again) she didn't even accept to have a woman taking care of her and at 1 point, and was treating her like an enemy and not like someone who was supposed to make sure she takes her pills and take care of her.

She was all frightened also that someone will break into her house, she was scared of the sounds coming from outside, and she was scared when she would go to sleep at night.

At one point also, she came to our home, was behaving normally (but it was easily spotted that she was depressed), and then she stood up and walked away from the room to the backyard for unknown reason, and we were like "???" and then she came back and didn't tell anything. This happened only once.

In the hospital nothing pointed out that she would die. She didn't forget things, she knew who we were, she asked about how we are all the time (although that last week she didn't ask for my little nephew, and she used to do that before, so I don't know if she forgot him like my mother thought, but she didn't forget things in general), but the day before she died she couldn't stand because her legs were swelled because of the water in her body and she said they hurt. That night she died in her sleep, from a miocardiac heart attack in the neuropsychiatric hospital - the water suffocated her. She was 64 when she died, and she died 3 years after my grandpa and after all this started.

She wasn't diagnosed with Alzheimer ( I asked my mother about that and she said she wasn't diagnosed with anything like that), or something like Creutzfeldt Jakob Disease but do you think there was a neurodegenerative disorder going on or it was all due to her depression and not taking medications? Google shows some similar symptoms, that is why I am scared of, and because I've recently found out that Alzeihmer, CJD etc....could be/are genetic. My grand grandmother also had some depression symptoms when she was old (she was older than my granny when she died) but mom says it wasn't Alzheimer or any of the similar diseases.

Thanks in advance for the reply.

 
Sponsors Lightbulb
   
Old 02-15-2012, 10:26 AM   #2
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
ninamarc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Canada/USA
Posts: 1,703
ninamarc HB Userninamarc HB Userninamarc HB Userninamarc HB Userninamarc HB Userninamarc HB Userninamarc HB Userninamarc HB Userninamarc HB Userninamarc HB Userninamarc HB User
Re: a neurodegenerative disease or depression mixed with other health problems?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bakile View Post
She was 64 when she died, and she died 3 years after my grandpa and after all this started.

She wasn't diagnosed with Alzheimer ( I asked my mother about that and she said she wasn't diagnosed with anything like that), or something like Creutzfeldt Jakob Disease but do you think there was a neurodegenerative disorder going on or it was all due to her depression and not taking medications? Google shows some similar symptoms, that is why I am scared of, and because I've recently found out that Alzeihmer, CJD etc....could be/are genetic. My grand grandmother also had some depression symptoms when she was old (she was older than my granny when she died) but mom says it wasn't Alzheimer or any of the similar diseases.

Thanks in advance for the reply.
I am sorry your grandma died. Please accept my condolences.

The big question about genes!

I don't know about all the dementia or her conditions, but I can tell you about Alzheimer's:
My FIL has regular onset Alzheimer's and he is 91. For this type of AD, the family surely may have genetic factors. My husband and my half BIL sure may get dementia. But it is like 5% or less. It may not happen. There are so many factors why one has Alzheimer's. So we don't worry too much about it. Of course we do understand what Alzheimer's care means as we are doing it now.

The other type of Alzheimer's is early onset AD. This one has stronger genetic factor. However, it does not mean the kids will get it for sure. There are many factors. I do hear about some families that had many siblings who fell victim for early onset AD. If it is strong, I am sure you can ask the doctor about what to do.

You have no idea how GrandMa died. So she may or may not have dementia. It might be severe depression.

I would not worry too much about it or be frightened like that. You don't even know what she had. Even if it is dementia, you would not know for sure it is genetic.

So learn more about dementia but be happy/positive.

Regards,
Nina

 
The Following User Says Thank You to ninamarc For This Useful Post:
Bakile (02-15-2012)
Old 02-15-2012, 02:58 PM   #3
Member
(male)
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Serbia
Posts: 73
Bakile HB User
Re: a neurodegenerative disease or depression mixed with other health problems?

Thanks for the reply, and I do agree with what you said.

But I am interested in knowing are these symptoms that I described more linked to depression or vascular dementia (if dementia existed, as she had a mild stroke like i said) or Alzheimer.

 
Old 02-15-2012, 05:06 PM   #4
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
ninamarc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Canada/USA
Posts: 1,703
ninamarc HB Userninamarc HB Userninamarc HB Userninamarc HB Userninamarc HB Userninamarc HB Userninamarc HB Userninamarc HB Userninamarc HB Userninamarc HB Userninamarc HB User
Re: a neurodegenerative disease or depression mixed with other health problems?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bakile View Post
Thanks for the reply, and I do agree with what you said.

But I am interested in knowing are these symptoms that I described more linked to depression or vascular dementia (if dementia existed, as she had a mild stroke like i said) or Alzheimer.
Usually dementia can be diagnosed properly with the right tools these days.
First of all, she was not diagnosed with dementia. Second, her memory loss was not long or sufficient enough to say it is dementia. Maybe she was too sick to care about the nephew right before she died. She probably had some psychiatric issues when she jumped up and went to the yard and etc.
The order is not quite right.

The memory loss symptoms start with short-term memory loss, then some strange behaviors and then long-term memory loss.
One week or a few days' memory loss does not say enough about dementia.

Also sounds like she had heart failure and etc. She must have other conditions and she basically gave up on her life.

I am not saying she had no vascular dementia due to the stroke, but the stuff you mentioned don't sound like dementia for sure. At least not enough info.

Our member Deb may know more about it, for me, it is not enough proof for dementia. When one person is dying, she would have problem remembering and would have been pre-occupied with her own thoughts and etc. So it is not enough to say she had dementia just because she didn't mention the nephew for a short time. (Not sure how long she forgot the nephew?)

My FIL took 7 years to get to severe stage today. Even in 2004/2005, he had only short-term memory loss. He didn't forget his elder son until 2007/2008. It takes a long time to develop the memory loss.

Regards,
Nina

Last edited by ninamarc; 02-15-2012 at 05:29 PM.

 
The Following User Says Thank You to ninamarc For This Useful Post:
Bakile (02-16-2012)
Old 02-15-2012, 09:23 PM   #5
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: charlotte, nc, usa
Posts: 7,135
Gabriel HB UserGabriel HB UserGabriel HB UserGabriel HB UserGabriel HB UserGabriel HB UserGabriel HB UserGabriel HB UserGabriel HB UserGabriel HB UserGabriel HB User
Re: a neurodegenerative disease or depression mixed with other health problems?

Bakile... I am sorry your grandmother died and you all had to go through all of this with her.

Now for your question. There is truly no way to know without proper diagnosis if she had a form of dementia or if she had depression brought on by losing her husband. Personally I think you are worrying too much. There is not a direct genetic link in most cases of Alzheimer's. Yes there is some genetic involvement in some cases but it is not as Huntington's Disease or other diseases that have a very direct link. If you have a parent with Huntington's you have a 50% chance of getting the disease. If you have a parent with Alzheimer's you still don't know the chances of getting the disease. There are some that get it with no family history and some with long family histories that don't get it. I know my Grandmother and my Mom both have it. I know my Dad has Vascular dementia which is a very different dementia. Yet I don't know if I will get either or not. My chances are not worse than anybody else

As for the Vascular Dementia that is directly tied to the cardiovascular system. The congestive heart disease (which is the water issue), the strokes, the heart attacks, etc are a risk factor for Vascular Dementia. If you don't have heart disease at this time don't worry. Just live healthy. Unless you have several members of your family in several generations with Alzheimer's... you probably do not have a genetic predisposition to the disease. Your chances are the same as any body else.

So please don't be too concerned at this point. Life life to the fullest and be as healthy as you can be.

Love, deb

 
The Following User Says Thank You to Gabriel For This Useful Post:
Bakile (02-16-2012)
Old 02-16-2012, 04:32 AM   #6
Member
(male)
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Serbia
Posts: 73
Bakile HB User
Re: a neurodegenerative disease or depression mixed with other health problems?

Thanks again for your replies, there is a lot of science in them.

It could be indeed a vascular dementia, if it even existed, as until those last days we had nothing pointing out to dementia as dementia, except this potential thing about my nephew that I mentioned (he was 3 years old in that time). She was paranoid because of the huge depression, and because of the problems that existed, and that DID go worse, but as a consequence of not taking meds. When she was under some control in the beginning, everything was going to better until the period when she again gave up. It is indeed giving up on life.

When I remember now, she even did a general "cleaning" of the whole house, including the garden, as she obviously wanted to die, and she wanted to leave the house completely arranged, so that we have no costs if we decide to sell it when she dies. Someone with dementia couldn't do and plan all that in such short interval, I guess?

And she was like that all the time, even when she was totally healthy - she didn't take care of herself that much, but was only interested to know that the others are ok. Until the very end.

She didn't have any school finished, but she was very capable and hardworking.

But the key point is that, if she was taking her meds, she would still be alive. That is what the doctors said too.

I asked my mother about her grandmother, and she said she didn't have Alzheimer, but was also depressive in her old ages, and she was in a hospital in a couple of occasions. And she was also older than my granny when she died.

I don't have any more info, but I guess I should trust that.

Last edited by Bakile; 02-16-2012 at 04:38 AM.

 
Old 02-16-2012, 08:52 AM   #7
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: charlotte, nc, usa
Posts: 7,135
Gabriel HB UserGabriel HB UserGabriel HB UserGabriel HB UserGabriel HB UserGabriel HB UserGabriel HB UserGabriel HB UserGabriel HB UserGabriel HB UserGabriel HB User
Re: a neurodegenerative disease or depression mixed with other health problems?

You have to put yourself in your grandmother's situation and try to see what she was seeing. There could have been some early stages of dementia there but there would also be a great depression because she had lost the life that was her reason for living. As I said before, you will never know for sure. You can speculate and guess and assume for years and never come up with a definitive answer.

Many will seem to "get life in order" when they think it is the end or if they have lost the will to live. Mom made sure all the legal work was done and had the house updated in the early stages of her Alzheimer's while she was denying anything was wrong. I have also known those with no dementia that shut down when they lost their life time spouse.

You said yourself that the reason your grandmother died was the illnesses that she had and the fact that she did not take her medication. Was this because she didn't remember to take it which could be because she had dementia or a refusal to take it due to depression and not wanting to extend her life. Again, you will never know.

Please find your peace with the fact that whatever the reason.... at this point it is unimportant. You have lost your grandmother and this is a grief process to find out the reasons why. Accept that sometimes there are no answers and at this point your grandmother and grandfather are together again. Nothing that happened to her is going to have a direct impact on your health. It is up to you and your choices how you live. What happens is many times not under our control.... so please live the life you have now to the fullest

Love, deb

 
The Following User Says Thank You to Gabriel For This Useful Post:
Bakile (02-16-2012)
Old 02-16-2012, 10:53 AM   #8
Member
(male)
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Serbia
Posts: 73
Bakile HB User
Re: a neurodegenerative disease or depression mixed with other health problems?

You are correct, but about this part:

Quote:
You said yourself that the reason your grandmother died was the illnesses that she had and the fact that she did not take her medication. Was this because she didn't remember to take it which could be because she had dementia or a refusal to take it due to depression and not wanting to extend her life. Again, you will never know.
No, she was not forgetting to take meds, she didn't want to take them. Even in the hospital she was refusing to take meds when doctors were giving her the meds. Those were not the meds for dementia but for the heart issues and the water removal. That is the thing I do know.

 
Old 02-16-2012, 09:49 PM   #9
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: charlotte, nc, usa
Posts: 7,135
Gabriel HB UserGabriel HB UserGabriel HB UserGabriel HB UserGabriel HB UserGabriel HB UserGabriel HB UserGabriel HB UserGabriel HB UserGabriel HB UserGabriel HB User
Re: a neurodegenerative disease or depression mixed with other health problems?

It still could be for either reason Bakile. Dementia is not just a short term memory problem but also a judgement and through process problem. It could still be either depression or dementia. It could be that the depression was made worse by early dementia or it could just be the depressions.

If it was not dementia, and she was of sound mind and refusing the medication, then she was ready to join her husband. I feel that if we are of sound mind and understand the consequences, we do have the right of refusal of any medical treatment. Sometimes that is hard for others to accept but if that is the fact then obviously she had put much thought into her life and what she wanted. You would have to honor and respect her decision and choices because they were hers to make.

Remember the good times with her and all that she meant to you. Remember the love shared and smile

Love, deb

 
Old 02-17-2012, 12:28 AM   #10
Member
(male)
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Serbia
Posts: 73
Bakile HB User
Re: a neurodegenerative disease or depression mixed with other health problems?

Yes, I do understand, and you are correct in everything. And I also have to add, that she was even hiding the medications from us, so that we can't find them. Once she figured out that we are going to control when she drinks the medications, she was hiding them, and some of them were so well hidden that even my mother didn't know where they are. She wasn't even pretending that she doesn't know where they are, but she was just saying that she will not take them, and that we can't do anything about them. She was saying that she wants to die all the time almost.

Doctors didn't diagnose any form of dementia, even though she was in hospital for some time, but I know that it could have been a form of early dementia, in this case, as you said, probably vascular dementia as she had a stroke and a cognitive heart disease.

Of course we support her decision, even though all of us feel bad because she gave up, but unfortunately she couldn't manage to recover after my grandpa's death. From that day she totally changed. She was only better in one small time period when she was taking medications for her heart issues (that was the period when she still wasn't hiding the meds), but even then it wasn't much better.

The depression itself didn't decrease or increase significantly. It was a small improvement and then a return to where it has been before. But her heart problems did go worse as well as her overall health.

Unfortunately, she is gone now, but we have memories of her which will last forever.

 
Old 02-17-2012, 06:25 AM   #11
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: charlotte, nc, usa
Posts: 7,135
Gabriel HB UserGabriel HB UserGabriel HB UserGabriel HB UserGabriel HB UserGabriel HB UserGabriel HB UserGabriel HB UserGabriel HB UserGabriel HB UserGabriel HB User
Re: a neurodegenerative disease or depression mixed with other health problems?

Bakile... obviously she was a determined strong willed lady Take those good memories you have and celebrate the life she had before...

Love, deb

 
The Following User Says Thank You to Gabriel For This Useful Post:
Bakile (02-17-2012)
Closed Thread




Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




Join Our Newsletter

Stay healthy through tips curated by our health experts.

Whoops,

There was a problem adding your email Try again

Thank You

Your email has been added




Top 10 Drugs Discussed on this Board.
(Go to DrugTalk.com for complete list)
Aricept
Aspirin
Ativan
Morphine
Namenda
  Reminyl
Risperdal Seroquel
Xanax
Zoloft




TOP THANKED CONTRIBUTORS



Gabriel (757), ninamarc (157), Martha H (124), meg1230 (93), angel_bear (68), jagsmu (55), Beginning (51), TC08 (44), ibake&pray (43), debbie g (37)

Site Wide Totals

teteri66 (1164), MSJayhawk (999), Apollo123 (898), Titchou (833), janewhite1 (823), Gabriel (758), ladybud (747), sammy64 (667), midwest1 (665), BlueSkies14 (610)



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 07:20 AM.



Site owned and operated by HealthBoards.comô
Terms of Use © 1998-2014 HealthBoards.comô All rights reserved.
Do not copy or redistribute in any form!