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  • Another unresponsive attack.

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    Old 09-06-2009, 09:20 PM   #1
    dorri
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    Another unresponsive attack.

    My mom was at my sisters all day. Mom was very agitated and paranoid all day saying that my sister was going to do away with her. My sister phoned me an hour ago to tell me that mom collapsed again and she didn't respond for a few minutes. When she came to, her vitals were okay, but she was slightly slurring her speech. Her heart rate was up a bit too. The Nursing Home said to keep an eye on her and if she has another incident to take her into ER.
    They say she may have had a mini stroke. The last time this happened to her, the hospital couldn't find anything wrong with her?

    She 's been on seroquel for her paranoia and erratic behavior, and we've been trying to get her off this med because it is not recommended for dementia patients because of an increased rate of heart attack and stroke. I have to wonder if the med has anything to do with it, as a side effect of this drug is irregular heart and speech difficulties.

    Please say a prayer for my mom.

    Last edited by dorri; 09-06-2009 at 09:22 PM.

     
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    Old 09-07-2009, 03:27 AM   #2
    Martha H
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    Re: Another unresponsive attack.

    Yes, Dorri, I'm praying that your Mom will get off any drug that is causing this problem, while still getting any drug she needs to stay calm and happy. It is a difficult disease to treat because much of the medication deals with behavior, not underlying disease processes. Good luck!

    Love,

    Martha

     
    Old 09-07-2009, 06:21 AM   #3
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    Re: Another unresponsive attack.

    My Mom's unresponsive episodes were many times throughout the day and would be a minute or two at a time. It was very scary for my sister but then she got so use to it, she'd just go over and try to stimulate her with touch.

    CaringSister54

     
    Old 09-07-2009, 06:54 AM   #4
    Gabriel
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    Re: Another unresponsive attack.

    My guess is that it is probably a TIA (Trans ischemic attach) and not related to the medication at all. What you are describing are classic TIA symptoms. Then are very small mini stroke type episodes with no medical indications and any after effects vanish quickly. My grandmother had them often for a while. They may or may not lead to anything more complicated and are treated with blood thinners just as a regular stroke. I will say that TIA's were out number one medical episode at the LTC facility I worked in. Yes, they are scary but in and of themselves they are not dangerous... except for the usuall accompanying fall or when they are a warning sign of future larger stroke events. That is why it is important to treat TIA's as you would a stroke.

    I will keep you and your mom in my thoughts and prayers dorri.

    Love, deb

     
    Old 09-07-2009, 07:49 AM   #5
    dorri
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    Re: Another unresponsive attack.

    Thanx for your prayers and support, mom is okay I think. I phoned and my sister said she couldn't talk because someone came in to visit mom so she will phone me back after.

    Mom is on coumadin ( blood thinner) and has been on it for a year.

    As for anti pyschotic drug, well guys she is even more paranoid, agitated, hostile at times and delusional since they put her on it, but the doctor won't listen and continues to keep her on it
    This drug is not a choice drug for people with dementia (nor are most anti pychotic drugs) as the risks of heart attack and stroke are higher, so is agitation and confusion, vision and speech problems and cognitive functioning. Mom's been complaining that it's like someone poured black sand into her eyes after she gets her medicine. I know that a lot of mom's symptoms could be the dementia, but she has many of the side effects and has gotten much much worse since she was put on this medication.

    Last edited by dorri; 09-07-2009 at 09:28 AM.

     
    Old 09-07-2009, 08:22 AM   #6
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    Re: Another unresponsive attack.

    You are right, most antipsychotic drugs are not recommended for the elderly dementia patient but those are all we have. There are no drugs that have been designed just for this segment of the population. They are not recommended but what else do you do? Seroquel is designed to control the manic ups and downs of bipolar behaviors and schizophrenia.

    The symptoms you described are on the extended side effects list. It would be worth trying your Mom not on the meds to be sure what is causing the problem.

    When Mom was put on the meds she was put on at the Senior Behavioral Unit I did ask about the same things you are asking about here. The geriatric psychiatrist there are very aware of the side effects and the fact that so many of these meds are not recommended for the elderly. He explained to me that it is a matter of testing and liability. If they have not tested the med on that specific segment of the population then they limit their libility by publishing that they are not recommended. On the flip side there are no meds of this type that have been tested. So yes, it's a shot in the dark but what else is there to do? Let Mom be miserable? The drug of choice of most doctors is Ativan or Xanax and these are probably the worst. I wish you had been with me night before last as my dad talked out of his head with aggitation, unable to move, because of the effects of a super dose of Ativan. What we need is more research and testing of existing meds to find out which ones will work with out loved ones with dementia. Until then we just do the best we can

    Love, deb

    PS.... both of my parents are on seroquel.

    Last edited by Gabriel; 09-07-2009 at 08:23 AM.

     
    Old 09-07-2009, 08:31 AM   #7
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    Re: Another unresponsive attack.

    I just did a little research because it seems seroquel is a drug that comes up very often with our loved ones. There is a study of Seroquel for the trestment of Agitation in Elderly patients with Dementia. It concluded that the drug may reduce syptoms of agitation in long term care patients with dementia and showed no evidence of increased CVAE's (Cerebraovascular adverse events such as strokes and TIA's) that have been associated with the use of some other atypical antipsychotics . So that is probably why Seroquel seems to be prescribed more than other drugs for our loved ones.

    Love, deb

    PS... it was a short term study and they recommended more research on this med but it's a glimmer of hope.

    Last edited by Gabriel; 09-07-2009 at 08:32 AM.

     
    Old 09-07-2009, 10:07 AM   #8
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    Re: Another unresponsive attack.

    i am glad she is ok. those drugs can be wicked.

     
    Old 09-07-2009, 10:10 AM   #9
    dorri
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    Re: Another unresponsive attack.

    Thanks Deb, I know what you are trying to say but what remains a fact is that mom is far worse and not better since she started seroquel and got even worse when they increased it.
    Her behavior could be coincidental and a part of her dementia instead but the family is requesting that the drug be discontinued to find out for sure. I don't think they can cut her off abruptly as it can cause her pschosis to become worse so she will have to weaned down gradually..

    Deb, she is not happy, and if she has to be so miserable while on this drug, why not take her off to see if there is an improvement?

    I talked to her a while ago, and she sounded very normal in speech and is back to her complaining.

     
    Old 09-07-2009, 11:32 PM   #10
    Gabriel
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    Re: Another unresponsive attack.

    I am not saying don't try taking her off the drug. Just giving you information. The more you know the better informed decision you can make. If you think it is the medication causing the problem then by all means try taking her off. A different medication might be the answer. Or there may be no answer at all. My Mom has been on and off various medications for years and nothing has brought back her happiness. Her misery is a function of her disease and there is no happy pill that can take her misery away. All our efforts have only taken the edge off her misery. She still wants to go home. She still complains constantly. She still cries. But she is no longer crying hysterically and striking out at others. We did try taking her off her meds... and it got worse. Alzheimer's is a cruel disease. The behavioral problems are part and parcel of the disease. No, there are not good meds to deal with the disease induced emotional turmoil they are in. We just do the best we can with what is offered. The family is the best advocate a loved one with Alzheimer's has. So do what you need to do to make your Mom the best she can be

    I will continue to keep you and your Mom in my thoughts and prayers.

    Love, deb

     
    Old 09-08-2009, 08:08 AM   #11
    dorri
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    Re: Another unresponsive attack.

    Thanks Deb, and yes I do know that it's a big gamble to take her off. I think we would be doing it for us as much as for her, we need to find out if this is the med worsening her condition, but I'm almost afraid to find out incase it turns out like with your mom that medication had nothing to do with it and the dementia was responsible?

    Mom has been on seroquel over 2 months...does she still have to be weaned off slowly, as I read that taking them off suddenly can worsen the psychosis or is that only for those who have been on it for years?


    hugs
    Dorri

    Last edited by dorri; 09-08-2009 at 08:08 AM.

     
    Old 09-08-2009, 09:20 AM   #12
    Beginning
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    Re: Another unresponsive attack.

    I haven't looked at the Board for several months, since so much has been happening. I found the time to read a few postings this morning, and saw yours. Not sure if it's the same thing, but DH blacked out a few days ago. When he came around after a few minutes, he was a little disoriented but otherwise ok. He was hospitalized for a few days for a lot of tests, but nothing has showed up that would have caused him to black-out.

    I learned from the neurologist that 20% of AD patients develop seizures. At this point, we aren't going to start seizure medications for DH since the neurologist said that the seizure medications are very difficult to manage.

    Last edited by Beginning; 09-08-2009 at 09:20 AM.

     
    Old 09-08-2009, 10:04 AM   #13
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    Re: Another unresponsive attack.

    That is something you need to check with her doctor on Dorri but I really don't think it would be a problem if she has only been on it such a short time. The first time Dad was on seroquel, for a short time, they did stop it abruptly and try something else. Now he is back on it.

    I feel your frustration Dorri. I am with you there. There are so many variables that there is honestly no way to tell what is causing what. Beginning is right about the seizures in dementia patients. They do happen. Yet the seizures and the TIAs are hard to diagnose. You have the manic behavior of the disease and all the drug side effect on top of that. I am a firm believer that less is better yet my parents have both ended up on a medication coctail!! All I know is that they are better at the moment than they were in May!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They are not perfect but better. I hope and pray for the same for you and your Mom.

    Love, deb

     
    Old 09-08-2009, 04:19 PM   #14
    dorri
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    Re: Another unresponsive attack.

    Beginning thanks, sorry to hear of your dh, hope he doesn't have anymore attacks...hmm...wonder if mom could be having seizures, although I thought that seizures would be more obvious in symptoms. The only time I've ever had experience with someone having seizures was when I was in highschool and a classmate dropped and was violently shaking? Mom just seems to pass out without any shaking prior or during her attack. I don't understand why they can't find anything while she is having these episodes?

    Deb as always, thanks, you certainly have your share with both parents. I'm thinking that we'll take mom off her med and she'll probably end up needing it again jiust like your dad? What did they try him on in between the seroquel?

    hugs

    dorri

     
    Old 09-08-2009, 05:52 PM   #15
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    Re: Another unresponsive attack.

    Respidol and something else.... actually he's been on several but I would have to look them up. Mom is now on Geodon which is absolutely on the list you talked about that causes cardiovascular events but that's the only med that was effective for her. I still found her crying this afternoon but she was easily diverted with some of that fresh peach pie I made last night. The meds have not taken away her emotional unhappiness... just made it easier to divert her

    Seizures come in all kinds. They cause involuntary changes in body movement or function, sensation, awareness, or behavior. They can last a few seconds or be continuous needing intervention to stop them. What you saw was the involuntary contraction of muscle groups probably with loss of consiousness. But they may be as subtle as numbness in a part of the body, visual flashes, blinking of the eyes, sensation of fear or confusion, a feeling of lightheadedness or dizzyness or many others symptoms. It all depends on what part of the brain the seizure is centered in

    Love, deb

     
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