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NetWellness Alzheimer's Disease

Latest NetWellness content for Alzheimer's Disease

Last Build Date: Fri, 29 Sep 2017 03:12:01 PST

Copyright: Copyright 2007

Memory Problems

Thu, 24 Nov 2011 02:11:00 EST

Question: My question is in regard to my memory. I am a 32yr old female. I was diagnosed about two years ago with graves desease(T3-thyrotoxicosis was diagnosed at first due to my labs, then graves due to how antibodies being found). However I have been having memory problems for at least 3 or more years, I c . . .

Answer: Thyroid disease can cause many problems and symptoms. Graves disease is typically thought to be an autoimmune condition that leads to thyroid hormone overproduction. Some typical clinical features include anxiety, fatigue, impaired focus, and sleep issues. If you are not concentrating well or are sl . . .

Ask an Expert: Douglas Scharre MD, Alzheimer's Disease

Small Vessel Ischemic Disease and Alzheimer`s

Fri, 23 Sep 2011 11:09:00 EST

Question: I have small vessel ischemic disease of the brain (I'm only 53). My concern is will this increase my chances of Alzheimer's?

Answer: In general, small vessel ischemic disease in the brain is very common as we get older. How much this impacts a person depends on how much ischemic disease is present.

If we have hypertension, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, or if we smoke, there is greater risk to have this ischemic disease an . . .

Ask an Expert: Douglas Scharre MD, Alzheimer's Disease

What Can We Expect?

Wed, 14 Sep 2011 23:09:00 EST

Question: My father was recently diagnosed with Dementia with Lewy Bodies. His neurologist prescribed sinemet when he suddenly stopped walking, and Serroquel for his difficulty sleeping. What should we expect fromt these meds? What complications should we be looking out for?

Answer: Sinemet is often used to help with improved ambulation and walking. You will know very quickly in a few days if this medication is helping. The dose can easily be adjusted up or down to effect. Possible side effects of Sinemet may include hallucinations, false beliefs, and wanting to move too much. . . .

Ask an Expert: Douglas Scharre MD, Alzheimer's Disease

Should I Tell the Truth or Not?

Sun, 24 Jul 2011 12:07:00 EST


As a caregiver to my 84-year old mother, I don’t know whether to go along with her beliefs that my father is alive (he’s been dead for over 40 years) and that she needs to go "home" because he will be angry. She is now attempting to leave and is getting anxious and stress . . .


Dear family: It is very common for a person with Alzheimer's disease to think that a deceased loved one is still alive or that they need to "go home." Over time, their short-term memory deteriorates and they will often bring up long-term memories of long ago; where in your case y . . .

Ask an Expert: Rebecca Davis RN, LISW, Alzheimer's Disease

Moderate Atrophy of the Brain

Thu, 21 Jul 2011 16:07:00 EST

Question: My 89 year old father's gait rapidly deteriorated from being able to walk slowly while unaided, to shuffling slowly with a wheeled walker and having difficulty in sitting and arising. A head CT was done, and I was told the results showed no hydrocephalus (which was suspected) and moderate atrophy. . . .

Answer: There are many potential causes of gait changes. Your father's physician would be able to tell you the most likely causes.

Moderate atrophy by itself is not the reason for the gait disturbance. Atrophy does occur with aging but without seeing the scan it is impossible to say if his atrop . . .

Ask an Expert: Douglas Scharre MD, Alzheimer's Disease

Discontinued use of Aricept and Naminda

Fri, 15 Jul 2011 10:07:00 EST

Question: My 88 year old father is currently in a nursing home with Alzheimer's. He is confined to a wheel chair post bi-lateral knee replacement. The doctor at the nursing home has discontinued his aricept and naminda on May 15th stating that the medication is no longer effective for him. He had been tak . . .

Answer: The best option is to agree to have your father evaluated by that psychiatrist who is probably very knowledgeable about dementia and medications. I am unable to make any specific recommendations regarding your father's care as there are many variables that may influence choice of medications for a p . . .

Ask an Expert: Douglas Scharre MD, Alzheimer's Disease

Is My Parent on Too Many Medications?

Mon, 04 Apr 2011 18:04:00 EST


My mother was diagnosed three years ago with dementia and is on so many drugs and it does not seem to be of any effect except to drain all of their savings. These drugs include Abilify, Namenda, Aricept as well as others for other illnesses. Is this normal, or is this overkill? Some of these d . . .


If your mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease or what they think is likely Alzheimer's disease, then using Aricept and Namenda will often slow the progression of the disease. This positive benefit may last on the average 6 to 7 years (but each individual case may differ).
. . .

Ask an Expert: Douglas Scharre MD, Alzheimer's Disease

Electric Type Seizures Late Stage Alzheimer`s

Mon, 28 Feb 2011 16:02:00 EST

Question: My LO is in late stage Alzheimer's and has been having little wild movements of arms and legs. This can go on for hours. My friend has a LO doing the same thing and they were put on Keppra. Can this help?


It is hard to say what is going on without more information. Seizures can occur in late stage Alzheimer's disease in about 3% of patients. Movements due to seizures are rhythmic in nature consisting of jerking movements usually with loss of consciousness and last at most a few minutes. If they ar . . .

Ask an Expert: Douglas Scharre MD, Alzheimer's Disease

Can Auditory Hallucinations be Treated?

Mon, 28 Feb 2011 12:02:00 EST


What can be prescribed for my 84 yr. old mother who hears another woman`s voice in her home and believes it to be the girlfriend of my father and has threatened to kill them both? She has tried lexapro and Namenda with no success.


False beliefs or hallucinations, such as described, are not uncommon in certain dementing conditions. Unless family members identify instances that the patient states that she hears this girlfriend right at that instant, these are best described as delusions. These type of complaints are usual . . .

Ask an Expert: Douglas Scharre MD, Alzheimer's Disease

CT Results and Dementia

Wed, 02 Feb 2011 10:02:00 EST

Question: My dad recently had a CT scan for differentiating Alzheimer's dementia vs. vascular dementia. CT results revealed cortical atrophy and age related white matter low density changes but his ventricles are unremarkable. According to the psychiatrist the fact that the ventricles are unremarkable a . . .


The results of a CT scan of the brain are always interpreted in light of the person's age. As we ag . . .

Ask an Expert: Douglas Scharre MD, Alzheimer's Disease