Q. Does rapidly declining memory mean Alzheimer's disease or vascular dementia?

Answered by
Dr. Aida Quka
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
Published on Mar 17, 2018

Hello doctor,

My father is experiencing rapidly declining memory and cognitive function. He was taken to the hospital a year back due to confusion and memory loss and was treated for diabetic ketoacidosis and had a quadruple bypass performed. They also did various scans and MRIs and found nothing to indicate a reason for the memory issues. They ascribed it to the DKA and lack of oxygen to the brain due to heart blockages and told us his symptoms should subside after his recovery. After 13 months, he is only getting worse. He cannot remember appointments or plans and has to put everything on his phone to remember (including his birthday). He does not remember what he has done the previous day and sometimes believes he did something he did not. He does not remember events of past 10 to 15 years (including forgetting where his house is that he has lived in for 24 years), but his youth is still vivid in his mind. He turns 61 tomorrow, so he is fairly young for this kind of memory loss.

Does this point to Alzheimer's, and if so, what stage is he in? Or does this seem more likely to be vascular dementia? Or something else entirely?

Dr. Aida Quka

Neurology
#

Hello,

Welcome to icliniq.com.

Your father's symptoms are indicative of dementia. I would like to review his brain MRI report, to give a more professional opinion if it is Alzheimer disease or vascular dementia. As he is diabetic, vascular dementia cannot be excluded. Anyway, you should know that vascular dementia is associated with many small strokes visible in the brain MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) while Alzheimer is associated with brain atrophy in the temporal lobes.

I would recommend consulting with a neurologist and performing some cognitive tests to determine the stage of the disease. Based on your prescription, it seems to be an advanced stage, as he forgets about his past too. I would recommend starting treatment with Donepezil or Memantine. Taking Aspirin daily and better control of diabetes and hypertension is necessary to slow the progression of the disease. You should discuss with his doctor on the above treatment options.

For more information consult a neurologist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/neurologist


Ask a QueryAsk a Query Consult by PhoneConsult by Phone Video ChatVideo Chat
Also Read Answers From:

Related Questions & Answers


My dad has age-related diffuse cerebral atrophy. Will he forget everything, even me?

Query: Hello doctor, Recently, a doctor said to my father that he has got age-related diffuse cerebral atrophy and it will affect the memory. Please explain what it is. Will he forget everything, even me? His age is 59. I am very frightened.  Read Full >>


Dr. Aida Quka
Neurologist

Answer: Hello, Welcome to icliniq.com. Regarding your concern, I would explain that your father's symptoms and MRI findings are indicative of dementia or Alzheimer's disease. This is a progressive disorder with progressive memory problems. Unfortunately, there is no cure, but there are some drugs which c...  Read Full

I have lack of concentration, memory problems and negative thoughts. Please help

Query: Hello doctor, I have symptoms related to the mind and body. I have no clarity in thinking. I cannot make any decisions. Even if I do, the moment I make the decision, I get negative thoughts and a sudden jerk in my mind with a sensation of fear. Also, I have on and off memory issues. It appears fine ...  Read Full >>


Answer: Hello, Welcome to icliniq.com.I read your query with keen interest and understand your concerns. Regarding the attached reports (attachment removed to protect patient identity), I like to comment on the following things. Your vitamin B12 deficiency is corrected. There is excessive vitamin B12 in yo...  Read Full

Popular

Popular

Ask your health query to a doctor online?

Ask a Neurologist Now

* guaranteed answer within 4 hours.
Enter Your Health Query
You can upload files and images in the next step.

Fee:  

 


Disclaimer: All health Q&As published on this website is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical diagnosis, advice or treatment by a trained physician. Seek the advice from your physician or other qualified health-care providers with questions you may have regarding your symptoms and medical condition for a complete medical diagnosis. Do not delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice because of something you have read on this website.