Alzheimer`s Disease/Rapid onset dementia


My father is 77, and was in good health until May 11,2013.  My mother says he was having a normal conversation with her,went to the bathroom and came out into the living room a different person.  He was confused as to where he was. He thought he was in the grage working.  He was admitted to a stroke center had an MRI, CT scan,, has had repeat CT scans.  The Neurologist said his MRI. showed early onset dementia, normal for anyone his age.   During one admission to the ER I noticed he was chewing Nicorette gum.  He quit smoking 20 years ago and has been chewing it since.  I noticed he was chewing a large amount of the gum and had it taken away.  He is now in a nursing home and all anyone can ever say is it is rapid onset dementia.  Does dementia take down someone who was in good health this quickly without other signs or maybe there were signs we just didn't know it.     Thank you, Lori

Hello Lori,

Thank you for writing.  I am sure this is a very difficult time for you and your family.

Rapid onset dementia is not a diagnosis.  I assume you are looking for an answer as to WHY your father has had rapid onset dementia.  I would suggest calling the Neurologist and asking if your father had a Stroke, if he had some type of other internal brain injury, what is the root cause of this onset?

The next question i would ask the Neurologist is:  could this rapid onset be related to Encephalopathy.(water on the brain)   Sometimes, an individual may have a quick onset of this condition and thus, causing symptoms of dementia.   A shunt is placed at the base of the brain to drain the fluid and usually this procedure is highly successful and the individual can return to a normal life.

I think there are many more questions here that are unanswered...please keep asking!!

With Best Regards,

Michalene Peticca, MA  

Alzheimer`s Disease

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Michalene Peticca


I'd be happy to help with any questions about Alzheimer's or Dementia diseases. I can also help with Medicare, Long term care & other insurance questions.


I have my Masters degree in Geriatrics and am credentialed through the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Pennstate Milton Hershey hospital and the American Geriatrics Society. I've been in healthcare for over 20 years and worked directly with Alzheimer's and Dementia individuals for most of that time. I am also a licensed insurance agent in PA and MD. Currently i train healthcare professionals to care for Alzheimer and Dementia individuals and i have been a care manager for guardianship services in PA

American Geriatrics Society

Masters degree in Geriatrics Licensed insurance agent in PA & MD.

Past/Present Clients
PHI Homes in Pennsylvania York, Dauphin & Adams County Area on Aging The Jewish Home of Harrisburg

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