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Rapid Dementia - Water Contamination

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Old 07-19-2011, 09:46 AM   #1
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Rapid Dementia - Water Contamination


My Grandmother was just taken to the hospital this past weekend. For the last couple weeks she hasn't been acting herself. She has been disoriented, she has been doing things not in her personality: answering the door in only a bra and underwear (she is a very conservative woman), coming onto her own son, thinking her son is her husband (who is no longer with us), lashing out at people, making offensive phone calls. But this past weekend these symptoms kept worsening. This past sunday, I visited her in the hospital and she gave one word answers (if she answered at all). She almost seemed "lost" in her head or really sedated/drugged. She knew certain things like her birthday, but couldn't tell you what year we are in. Sunday, the doctors said it could be vascular dementia, but they got her water tested and found out that it contained Coliform Bacteria. Now they are sending a whole infectious disease team in to see her.**they are still waiting for the other water tests to come back (testing for arsenic)

Now (today, Tuesday), she is no longer speaking. All she does is sit in the hospital bed and stare. She doesnt respond to any questions.

Does anyone have any thoughts on what this could be? People seem to be blown away by this...since all of this has happened so rapidly (within a couple weeks) and it has worsened tremendously in only a couple days.

Tests she has done:
Cat scan - they found that she has had a couple mini strokes -- but they can't tell when they occured but they feel like they happened years ago.
Her blood levels came back normal
Her sodium level was a little low, but they gave her something to fix that
She had a really bad UTI, and gave her antibiotics for it
Found a really mild case of pneoumnia -- gave her same antibiotics for it.

Mediciation - She is on celexas (anti-anxiety medicine), aspirin, a high blood pressure medicine, and that is all that I know of.

Any help would be great, thanks so much.


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Old 07-19-2011, 10:47 AM   #2
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Re: Rapid Dementia - Water Contamination

Interesting set of circumstances!!!! Since it has happens so quickly without evidence of a current vascular event I wonder if it is really caused by Vascular Dementia. The UTI will call strange behavior and a worsening of dementia symptoms but what you described is a bit over the top. As the UTI clears up, if the symptoms clear up, then you will know if that was the cause. The Choliform bacteria is not a good thing. One of the sub forms of Choliform bacteria is E-Coli we hear so much about.... and can cause UTIs along with other forms of infection. If there is Vascular Dementia present, with only strokes that are a year or so old, you should have seen some minor symptoms before this episode. But the infections can cause a worsening of symptoms.

Arsenic would also explain many of the symptoms you are seeing so hopefully those test will be back soon. The other medical information doesn't show anything that would cause the rapid deterioration you described.

I do hope you find out what is causing this. Hopefully it is the UTI and she will improve with the antibiotics. Just know I keep you both in my thoughts and prayers and please keep us updated on her progress.

Love, deb

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ninamarc (07-19-2011)
Old 07-19-2011, 02:13 PM   #3
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Re: Rapid Dementia - Water Contamination

wow, what a story. so sorry you have to go through this. i guess the doctors will have answers.

Old 07-19-2011, 06:44 PM   #4
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My goodness!!
What a story. How did the doctors think to test her water and not just assume she was another little old lady with dementia??? Good for them!

Hopefully, when the tests come back and the antibiotics take effect things will improve. Let us know what happens.

Love, Meg

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coliform bacteria, dementia, infection disease, water contamination

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