Can hypocalcemia cause Alzheimer's disease? [ 11/09/12 ]
There is no evidence that hypocalcemia causes Alzheimer's disease. Hypocalcemia, however, might indicate malnutrition. Furthermore, whatever the cause, when calcium is very low, it can cause confusion that resembles dementia without it being Alzheimer's disease.
We have noticed that when my mother gets agitated or tired she cannot hear. Her nurse feels that her ability to dress herself, reason, solve problems, read, write, and use written communication when she is having difficulty hearing are all atypical. Her neurologist says her short-term memory is now gone but that is just not true. She does lose words and misplaces things; however, she does not wander and knows her way around the gated community. What other conditions might cause her symptoms? [ 11/09/12 ]
An atypical presentation such as this would require a thorough medical/neurological assessment. Apparent loss of hearing during agitation might reflect your mother's inability to concentrate on more than one matter at a time. Alzheimer's disease does not typically cause loss of hearing during agitation.
My mum is in the final stages of Alzheimer’s disease and the doctors have decided to withdraw her off memantine. Can you tell me if there will be any side effects? Mum is in a nursing home as she requires 24-hour nursing care. They are saying this is the end. [ 11/09/12 ]
In general, withdrawing memantine is easily accomplished without side effects. The effects of memantine, like those of the other cognitive enhancers, will dissipate over the course of several weeks following discontinuation.
My mother had been suffering from Alzheimer disease for six years. She started taking Exelon; then her doctor changed the medication to Aricept (donepezil), and finally Reminyl (galantamine) in combination with Ebixa (memantine). In addition to these drugs, she takes heart medicines, including Furosemide, Lanoxin, and Levothyroxine. Unfortunately, she died six month ago as a result of her ascites. In my opinion, the ascites occurred due to malfunctioning kidneys, as a result of the Alzheimer’s medications that she was taking. Your “Frequently Asked Questions” section of the website indicates that, on average, patients with Alzheimer`s disease live eight to ten years after diagnosis. How long does Alzheimer`s disease last, on average, for patients if they do not take the conventional treatments. Thank you in advance for your kind assistance. [ 10/17/12 ]
I am sorry for your loss, and many grieving individuals question whether medications prescribed during a terminal illness were more harmful than beneficial. The medications for Alzheimer's disease are not thought to either decrease or increase survival time; however, quality of life is modestly improved for some affected people and their caregivers. Ascites is more typically caused by liver failure than by malfunctioning kidneys, and it is more often the case that malfunctioning kidneys alter the effects of medications rather than vice versa.
I cut the hair of a 77-year-old lady with Alzheimer's disease. I believe that she is the second stage of the disease. I recently noticed when cutting her hair, that the part of her skull in the back and near the top seems to be sunken in a little. Her daughter replied that is related to the Alzheimer’s disease. Is this a normal part of the disease process? [ 10/17/12 ]
Alzheimer's disease does not typically affect the shape of the skull. Brain size often decreases as the disease progresses; however, this is not reflected by any change in the bones of the skull.
What is the karyotype for Alzheimer’s disease? [ 10/17/12 ]
The term “karyotype” means a description of the number and appearance (under a microscope) of the chromosomes in a cell nucleus. Alzheimer's disease heritability is influenced by genes, but for most patients with AD the karyotype would not look different from that of someone without the disease.
One important exception is in people with Down syndrome. In this disease, there is an abnormal karyotype that includes 3 copies of chromosome 21 (trisomy). People with Down syndrome are much more likely to develop Alzheimer's disease than those in the general population.
Does a stroke impede the growth of plaque on the brain? If so, can the early detection of the disease be halted by mimicking a stroke localized around the plaque? [ 10/17/12 ]
The presence of a stroke actually increases rather than decreases the formation of plaques, and it would be difficult, if not impossible, to mimic a stroke around a plaque.
Has the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease increased in recent decades? [ 10/17/12 ]
By far, the most important risk factor for Alzheimer's disease is advancing age. With increased longevity, both the incidence (number of new cases per year) and prevalence (number of cases altogether) have increased greatly. Currently, an estimated 5.4 million suffer from Alzheimer's disease in the United States. The number of adults aged 65 years and older is expected to more than double between 2010 and 2050. An especially large increase will occur in the very elderly.