Tuesday, June 8, 2010


It's been a week since I've written. I was away at a conference for a good part of that week and preparing for it before I went.

Tomorrow Mom has an appointment with the neuropsychologist. It will be a long appointment and I'm praying the difference in my Mom from two years ago will be apparent. 

Two years ago when we went to this appointment, I was shocked as to the diagnosis. I wrote about the appointment on the website. This is what I wrote. Warning- this is long.

 Prior to the testing my mother and I each filled out separate questionaires. We met with the doctor a couple of hours after she had the testing done by an assistant. The doctor told us that she placed in the 98th percentile in most of the testing. He told us she is highly intelligent. 

He then asked us questions, why we were there, what caused me to be concerned etc. He asked my mother some questions and then did what I guess would be a mini exam. He had her write her name with her right hand and her left hand. Had her draw some figures, write some words and do some math problems.

Then he told us his diagnosis.

His diagnosis is Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI)

1. Tests showed slight decline in ability to read words
2. Delayed memory is below what would be expected
3.Visual memory is lower than expected.

Mom's CT scan showed "minute brain shrinkage" Less than would be normal for a person her age.
It also showed some small vessel disease.

The doctor related the small vessel disease to "small stroke events."

He explained that MCI in older adults increases the chance of getting Alzheimer's. In older adults, 1-2% of the population without MCI will get Alzheimer's. In those with MCI, that chance is 10-15%.

He suggested Mom be treated with Aricept or something similar through Mom's primary care doctor.

He said MCI is not dementia. He said MCI is a risk factor for dementia and/or Alzheimer's Disease.

My mother asked if I felt better hearing the diagnosis. I said I wasn't sure- I am confused. There have been instances of her not knowing who I am. Instances of her forgetting something 20 minutes after it happened. She hasn't been able to learn how to use new things, camera, phone etc. Other things still bother me as well.

The doctor said that life is the real test, and that they can't simulate life in clinical testing, and what I have experienced is valid. But he said if she can function at home and take care of her meals, pay bills, get dressed etc it is not dementia.

So now we will repeat the tests. My family has all filled out forms I found on the internet to take to the doctor to read. (Not his idea- mine) Dad has written down how much he believes things have changed and I will take that as well.

I pray that the doctor will see the changes and agree with us that a few changes need to be made. 

No driving
Help with medication
Little or no money handling

Prayers welcome!

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