Alzheimer`s Disease/Alzheimer`s Disease

Advertisement


Question
I was just wonder if Alzheimer`s Disease is typically caused by hereditary reasons? My mother had a stroke and now and for a while not has had expressive aphasia and has limited use of her right side. I guess some doctor thought she might have Alzheimer`s Disease and we are currently getting blood work done as well as asking medical questions about her father. How does the disease usually come about? Do people that suffer from it generally become angry or mostly just disoriented and confused about who everyone is? Any major successes in treating it?

Answer
Hello James: I'm very sorry to hear about your mother's memory problems--I'm sure it's very upsetting for the entire family.  There is a form of Alzheimer's that can be inherited but it's actually pretty rare and if you get it, you would tend to get it in your 40s, 50s or 60s rather than later in life.  There is a type of dementia caused by strokes called vascular (or multi-infarct) but they don't typically have the short-term memory loss seen earlier in AD.  It's also possible for her to have two types of dementia at the same time--from her strokes and from AD. We don't yet know exactly what causes AD, and the best treatment we have available at this time is a combination of 2 drugs that can help to slow the progression of the dementia.  That would be one of either Aricept, Exelon or Razadyne PLUS adding Namenda.  These drugs work differently in the brain and they work best together.  It depends of which area of the brain the stroke or the AD is affecting as to what symptoms you will see.  There is no "general" mannerism because it runs the whole gamut from no personality changes with confusion to total personality change with confusion. Blood work will help to show if she has other things contributing to her confusion such as a Vit. B12 deficiency, a thyroid disorder or something else aside from dementia or strokes.  I wish you much luck James as you move with your mother on her journey through dementia.  Cindy  

Alzheimer`s Disease

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Cindy Keith, RN, BS, Certified Dementia Practitioner

Expertise

As a nurse and dementia consultant, I can answer most questions on all types of dementia. If I cannot answer your question, I will attempt to find someone who can. My passion is to help caregivers of people with dementia, which in turn helps all those wonderful elders with dementia live better lives. When caregivers are better educated, they are able to better care for themselves and their loved ones, so education is key to decreased stress levels and healthier, happier families.

Experience

I have worked as a nurse in various disciplines of nursing for over 20 years, most of which was with the elderly. I was a health care coordinator in a dementia dedicated assisted living facility for 4 years before I started my own business (M.I.N.D. in Memory Care) as a dementia consultant six years ago. As a dementia consultant, I help families nationwide through phone conference calls as they struggle to care for their loved ones with dementia.

Organizations
Alzheimer's Foundation of America Geriatric Interest Network Sigma Theta Tau International

Publications
Published "Love, Laughter, & Mayhem - Caregiver Survival Manual For Living With A Person With Dementia" which is a collection of stories about people with dementia I have known, loved and worked with. Every story has a lesson to teach and this book gently teaches family caregivers lessons about how to better care for their loved one, as well as themselves during their caregiving journey. Published "Love, Laughter, & Mayhem In Eldercare Facilities: The Master Key For Dementia Training" Created "Bringing Nurturing To Memory Care" staff dementia training video Created Ebook: "Hair Stylist's Helpful Tips For Working With People With Alzheimer's & Other Dementias"

Education/Credentials
Registered Nurse with Bachelor's degree in Nursing; Certified Dementia Practitioner; Author of 2 books and an ebook

Awards and Honors
Sigma Theta Tau National Honor Society of Nursing

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.