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ninamarc 07-13-2012 07:58 AM

Drinking alcohol
 
Is it possible for an alcoholic who acts normal drinks every day and comes up with dementia or strange logic?
My sister lately has gone wild. After my husband explained to her about my late FIL's arrangement, she went on and told my folks with the WRONG info.
The timing was wrong and she came up with her own info. which he never said. She seemed to come up with her own logic if she didn't get it. Or she just changed other people's details into her own interpretation!

She is someone who judges a lot and has hot temper. Never thought she would go this far. Is this dementia kind of thing? Or it is just part of drinking?

Nina

Titchou 07-13-2012 08:13 AM

Re: Drinking alcohol
 
Probably just part of the drinking problem. So drunk she didn't remember or got it all wrong or heard the "voices in her head." I have a friend whose sister is an alcoholic and she does this kind of stuff all the time.They all ignore her except for her 91 year old mother who refuses to believe the woman is an alcoholic.

Gabriel 07-13-2012 11:06 AM

Re: Drinking alcohol
 
It could be because of general irresponsibility as part of her character, it could be because of the drinking... or both. Alcohol has a direct effect on the brain cells in the front part of the brain,resulting in poor judgment, difficulty making decisions, and lack of insight.

There is an Alcohol Dementia that is associated with long term heavy drinking and a poor diet, that results in neurological damage. Symptoms are very similar to other dementia but caused by the damage the Alcohol and poor nutrition does to the brain. If caught early, Alcohol Dementia might be reversed if the loved one will stop drinking and start a healthy diet replacing the missing vitamins and nutrients.

More than likely it is a combination of the stress and heavy drinking. Either way she needs help.... Encourage her to see a doctor ASAP...

Love, deb

ninamarc 07-13-2012 11:40 AM

Re: Drinking alcohol
 
Thank, Deb. This is not the first time and she has been like this for a long time.
Verbally abusive to anyone close to her. She has high status so she thinks she can say anything. Now she was rude to my Mom as well telling her she didn't cook well... (My husband likes my Mom's cook.)
She admitted she seemed to have dementia. She mixed up the issues. e.g., I got 2 boxes of pears and I can eat them with cheese. She thought I got the pears as well as the cheese. Small things with the base... Almost like dementia.

These days we don't bother to ask her to explain. I just need to explain our facts again.
My Mom knows she is like that but my Mom thinks what she said is OK. Well I don't like anything she says!

She is around doctors all the time at work. So it is up to her to wake up. She used to drink lots of beers and got sick once. But I guess she cannot stop it. I thought she had artificial beers...

Well I don't get along with her and never will as there were some old issues that she got me. Just hope her kid will tell her what to do. Maybe she needs to retire. But it won't change the way she behaves.

Nina

Luau 07-13-2012 12:01 PM

Re: Drinking alcohol
 
Just as an anecdotal story, Lucy in the past half year seemed to be much lowered tolerance for alcohol. On occasion, she would be tipsy even after 1 drink. While we were out at dinner one evening in Napa Valley, she was so drunk that I had to help her to the car. The amount of wine we consumed would not have even gotten her slightly drunk in the old days. After all, they were VERY expensive wines. It seems alcohol also exacerbates her mental confusion.

In fact, lowered tolerance for alcohol was one of the first major signs I noticed this half year, just before I found this board and ask you all for help. Another alcohol-related issue that cropped up very recently is her growing inability to self-check. She likes alcohol, and over the last vacation I had to intervene on several occasions to cut her off, or else she would keep on reordering refills.

Luau 07-13-2012 12:19 PM

Re: Drinking alcohol
 
[QUOTE=ninamarc;5018661]
My sister lately has gone wild. After my husband explained to her about my late FIL's arrangement, she went on and told my folks with the WRONG info.
The timing was wrong and she came up with her own info. which he never said. She seemed to come up with her own logic if she didn't get it. Or she just changed other people's details into her own interpretation!
Now she allowed the racoon to come in to eat all their food!! Maybe her husband should have closed the door.

She is someone who judges a lot and has hot temper. Never thought she would go this far. Is this dementia kind of thing? Or it is just part of drinking?

Nina[/QUOTE]

This can be a description of Lucy's behavior around November, December last year. She was turning into such an insensitive, abrasive jerk that I could not reason with. She was also acting very erratic, like Dr. Jackyl and Mr. Hyde. I was very close to filing for divorce. About a month or so later, the memory issues and other more "classic" dementia like symptoms started becoming more obvious, like inability to comprehend how to handle money or balance a checkbook, etc.

about a month or two before I finally admitted that I needed to get her help and I found this board.

ninamarc 07-13-2012 12:54 PM

Re: Drinking alcohol
 
My sister does admit she gets confused lately... Probably she is going to be very sick now. Once a few years ago she got sick on her stomach and everything so she had lots of checkups and nothing was wrong. Physical checkup on the stomach and etc., not the brain. At that time, it was the alcohol that was the major issue. She had too much beers at home/at work.
So she tuned down a littie bit. Now she drinks wine. Guess wine can be less than beer but in the end, it is the same thing.
She does not have to be drunk to say something funny. If she is drunken, she gets worse. Over the New year's eve, she was crazy too. She could not sing well. A few holidays back, she argued with my Mom about driving and eye test. She will do the cataract if she can drive, she wont do the cataract if she will not drive better and etc. (A theory because my Mom did the cataract op. and it worked on one eye.)
Does not seem to make sense - driving vs cataract and reading is not important???

The funny thing is her daughter as I just learned in Dec. is like me. We are both intolerant of alcohol and this means we cannot drink even more than half a cup or we will get very sick and allergic - sick not drunken so we naturally won't drink too much.

Now it has gone as far as alcohol dementia because my sister admitted she is confused a lot lately. It has gone from the stomach/pancrea issue to the dementia issue.

Nina

Luau 07-13-2012 01:07 PM

Re: Drinking alcohol
 
Just wondering if your sister is alcohol intolerant in a different way than you and daughter? While you and daughter have the physical symptoms of getting sick, your sister bypasses this warning and as a result she feels the effect in a cognitive way?

Lucy is different. She seemed to mellow after a drink. It was a relief from her usual abrasive, sarcastic behavior. So unconsciously maybe that was why I have let it go on as long as I did before the warning flags came up.

ninamarc 07-13-2012 01:16 PM

Re: Drinking alcohol
 
Oh yes my sister has lots of problems. She also has allergy and takes antivan for sleeping problem. For sure she is prone to dementia! Sometimes I think people with dementia do have a little bit of mental issues before they get dementia.

Nina

Titchou 07-13-2012 04:25 PM

Re: Drinking alcohol
 
There is an alcoholic condition - irreversible if not caught very early - called wet brain. I know someone with this and your sister sounds very much like she has this also.

Gabriel 07-13-2012 10:58 PM

Re: Drinking alcohol
 
.........."Sometimes I think people with dementia do have a little bit of mental issues before they get dementia".........

The "mental issues" are the early signed of many forms of dementia. We are so ingrained in the idea that dementia equals memory issues that we miss the behavioral,judgement, and emotional issues that show up many times before the memory issues. Mom's bizarre behavior was obvious for several years before the memory issues caught up. Just as Luau described, I was ready to divorce my Mom before I realized it was something more than her being a jerk.

We forget that in the 10 signs to watch for in Alzheimer's there is....

Mood and personality changes
Withdrawal
Decreased or poor judgement
Challenges in planning or solving problems
Difficulties in completing familiar task
Problems with speaking or writing
Trouble understanding visual images and spacial relationships.
Confusion of place and time

Misplacing items and inability to retrace steps
Memory loss that disrupts daily life.

Only these last two have anything to do with Memory... the other eight related to cognition that can and does affect "mental issues". Lately my push is awareness has been just this.... Alzheimer's is not a memory problem but a brain deterioration problem that presents in many ways!!

As for Alcohol... I do remember, in the earlier stages, neither Mom nor Dad knew "when to quit". I remember commenting to Dad that he had already had two drinks (he never had but one in the evening). He swore he had had NONE! Funny story... I received a call from the care facility apologizing that they had found it necessary to "cut Mom off" during the afternoon social. Each residence could get two (small) glasses of wine/beer during the social. Mom drank her two, Dad's two, one she snitched from the other lady at the table, one from the guy behind her..... we don't know how many :) Her version... she had not had anything to drink that day, why she was not even downstairs at the social :)

As for cognition, it does get worse when they are drinking. Cognition gets worse when a normal person drinks. They just start with the bar lower. I came to the conclusion that Mom and Dad didn't need access. But if Lucy is a mellow drinker... it might be an idea :)

Love, deb

Love, deb

ninamarc 07-14-2012 08:24 AM

Re: Drinking alcohol
 
Many alcoholics do have 10% mental issue and thus that was why they started drinking a lot. Certainly dementia adds more mental issues.
I was also talking about personality or life style that predefine the onset of dementia.
Of course, it is just my personal feeling. e.g., my late FIL always wanted to work with my husband and thus when he had AD, he forced my husband to go along that path which was not possible. My sister always was verbally abusive to people as a leader.

Many factors add up to dementia. Surely hope the cure will come soon.

Most people like my Mom still thinks there are cures soon in years. Even the new med. can only treat part of dementia. I believe there will be cure in the next generation.

Nina

Gabriel 07-14-2012 03:17 PM

Re: Drinking alcohol
 
I do believe there is a language related misunderstanding. These issues do not create the dementia as I read in your post... the dementia creates the issues. Yes there are personality traits and mental issues that can occur before dementia but they in no way create dementia... the dementia aggravates the preexisting conditions. Yes, your FIL had a set pattern of thoughts but that in no way created the dementia he had. When he did get dementia it made the thought more irrational.

Yes Alcoholics can have mental and emotional issues that cause them to drink more. The drinking can cause a worsening of these mental and emotional issues.. or it can mask the issues so no help is forth coming so there is no way to get better. Alcoholism can cause Alcohol related dementia... but that is just one specific type of dementia among the nearly 100 different kinds... and the only one that is caused by drinking.

I do not want anybody to think that mental issues, emotional well being, or personal choices causes dementia... except in very rare case as mentioned in the Alcohol related dementia.

Love, deb

ninamarc 07-15-2012 08:27 AM

Re: Drinking alcohol
 
I beg to have different opinion: mental issue in earlier lifetime can cause anxiety and depression and thus increase dementia risk.
Here there is some quote from the internet:

"Anxiety and Depression Increase Dementia Risk

Getting a diagnosis of Alzheimer's or another form of dementia can cause anxiety and depression, at least for a short time. But can mental distress increase the risk for developing dementia?

Scientists assessed that question by reviewing the medical records of more than 70,000 men and women living in the U.K. All were part of the Health Survey of England, a large and ongoing annual survey. All were free of dementia at the start of the study period, in 1994, and their average age was 55.

Study participants were giving annual health questionnaires that asked about problems like anxiety, depression, poor social functioning and loss of confidence. All are general measures of psychological health, and the higher the scores, the greater the likelihood of anxiety and depression.

By the end of the study period, 10 years later, more than 10,000 of the study participants had died from various causes. According to death reports, 455 had died with a diagnosis of Alzheimer's or other forms of dementia.

Those men and women with the highest mental distress scores were more likely to have died from dementia than those who were psychologically healthy. The link between psychological distress and death from dementia was independent of other factors that may raise dementia risk, including smoking, alcohol abuse, years of schooling or physical ailments like heart disease or diabetes.
....................................
They call for further research to investigate whether appropriate treatment of depression reduces dementia risk. They also note that understanding the links between psychological distress and dementia is important, since treatments for depression and anxiety are available and effective."

Nina

Gabriel 07-15-2012 09:28 AM

Re: Drinking alcohol
 
There are many studies that make connections but do not establish cause and effect. There is no indication, in this study, if the depression caused the dementia or if the dementia caused the depression... only that there is a statistical connection which may warrant further study. A good scientist is careful what conclusion they draw and not over reach.... and we need to do the same. Is it the stress or is it the inborn type A personally that is the problem? Is it environmental or hereditary? Is it a true connection or just a statistical phenomenon like the connection between Aluminum and Alzheimer's which was later proven to be incorrect.

........."They call for further research to investigate whether appropriate treatment of depression reduces dementia risk. They also note that understanding the links between psychological distress and dementia is important, since treatments for depression and anxiety are available and effective.".......... The conclusion to this study did not end with a statement that psychological distress caused dementia. It ended with a call for further research to investigate the possibilities due to a statistical connection which may or may not be proven.

There are so many types of dementia, so many various causes, and so much unknown about this disease, that I would hate for somebody to come away from this saying.... "Worry causes dementia!".

Love, deb


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