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Topic What can bring on sudden cognitive issues? Go to previous topic Go to next topic Go to higher level

By makrivah On 2015.06.11 12:04
Dramatic downturn in cognitive functions this morning. Disoriented. Lost words. Can't find things that have been in the same place for years (his underwear and jeans). He even said something was wrong. NO signs of stroke. Any input would be appreciated.

By jaxrock On 2015.06.11 12:07
My husband does this occasionally as well.....last week, thought he was standing on a street in our old hometown (we moved 15 years ago).
Then, he goes back to thinking more clearly the following day...
His doc says "Parkinsons dementia" is kicking in.....He was diagnosed 13 years ago, so, I guess it's possible.
Good Luck....
I'm sure your doctor will give you a much more comprehensive answer..

By VioletV On 2015.06.11 12:43
Two thoughts:

First, my husband has this experience now and then -- only when he is moving between being asleep and waking up.(He was dozing in his chair the other day, began to wake up and asked me if his older daughter had gone to London for the day with her friends--we live in the US and she lives 900 miles from us. He hasn't lived in England for 40 years). Our MDS tells us that the transition between waking and sleeping can be problematic for PWPs.

It may be that he is experiencing REM sleep behavior disorder, where people appear to be awake and are acting out dreams.

Second -- with rapid cognitive changes in PWPs and older people in general, think about dehydration and / or urinary tract infections.

Or, it may indeed be the beginnings of Parkinson's dementia. However, be careful about having a general physician diagnose this. When we first saw it we took him to the ER. By the time he was seen his cognition had cleared, the ER doc thought it was a TIA, but there was NO evidence of cardiac problems.

No matter the cause, I know that it is pretty scary. I got really worried about it at first, but now 4 years after it first began I just go with the flow, don't try to re-orient him until he is fully awake, and keep an eye on his fluid intake, and if I have any doubt, take him to the local urgent care clinic to rule out UTIs.

Good luck. Parkinson's caregiving isn't for the faint of heart.


By LOHENGR1N On 2015.06.11 15:33
Violet beat me to it, my first thought was dehydration. Of course contact his doctor to rule out other causes like a stroke uti and others like doubling up or missing doses of medication. Because of the inability to move or tremor inability to stop moving they liken having P.D. to moderate exercise day long. When temps rise and humidity increases doctors caution to only exercise in early morning or evening when it is a bit cooler, however with Parkinson's we can't limit living to early morning and evening times. We are doing the equivalent of moderate exercise in activities of daily living so we have to hydrate accordingly. Awhile ago I gave a quick check for hydration, a quick pinch of the skin on the back of the hand, if Hydrated the skin will snap Back flat quickly, the less hydrated the slower it goes back to flat.( just a general check). Another tip is if using sports drinks to hydrate try diluting them with water 50/50 we still get the same taste or flavor but our bodies can process the electrolytes easier and absorb them better. (An old long distance runners trick to hydrate better). Hope this helps.

By makrivah On 2015.06.11 16:34
You folks are the best! Reading Your posts sent me running for water. I made him drink 8 ounces every 15 minutes six times. Now it's every half hour. I hope to keep this up till 8 pm. He says he'll be up all night going to the bathroom.

I also went back over recent changes. Two things. First, He was outside three days in a row doing more than normal. Result, exercise is good BUT resulted in Exhaustion and dehydration.

Second, his neurologist suggested moving his 24mg of Galantamine Hydrochloride (I.e., Razadyne) from first dose in morning to last dose at bedtime. He said it might relieve his sleep issues. That's been the schedule for about 10 days when some of these weird cognitive things started. (He's been taking razadyne for years.)

So starting tonight, I'm going back to razadyne on waking...with lots of water.

Thank you again, to all who responded so quickly. I'll post, when things improve.

By LOHENGR1N On 2015.06.11 17:47
Mak, you can ease up a bit now, too much in too short a time could cause problems also. Sounds like he on his way to hydration (also on his way to sleeping in the john, lol.) I'm sure I can speak for others here, we're glad to be able to help.

By makrivah On 2015.06.13 18:00
All, quick update. My husband is thinking more clearly today. It's been a ROUGH few days. I'm pretty darn sure he had heat exhaustion with dehydration. He's been sleeping a lot, that is, even more than usual. His appetite is returning. He hasn't regained everything cognition-wise (is that a word?) but better than Wednesday-Friday.
Thank you again for good advice.

By LOHENGR1N On 2015.06.13 20:06
Thanks for the update Mak, glad to hear things are smoothing out some some for You both. Guess that's a part of Parkinson's being a movement disorder, it keeps most of us patients twitching and you caregivers hopping! Again, we're glad we could help.

By walkingwounded On 2015.07.03 12:51
Thank you so much for this topic! My Mom is having the same issues, and her constipation is also worse. I think we probably need to re-introduce some Gatorade.

By makrivah On 2015.07.07 12:05
It's been almost a month from my husband's downturn. I thought I'd give a quick update. In a nutshell, he took three steps backwards and regained one...he is worse than before the exhaustion.

Cognitive is a problem: lost words, lost train of thought in mid sentence, garbled telephone messages when he answers the phone, can't follow instructions (someone is coming over so please take out the trash and close the garage door, etc etc, etc.).

Physically a downturn too: bad shuffle, stooped, sloooooooow, faster tremor in both hands, lower back painful, much more daytime sleeping. Also awful constipation. He had that managed with medication and diet. He's miserable now.

After the episode, he has stopped playing golf (his buddies are the most patient guys in the world but they suggested maybe nine holes once in a while rather than the regular 18 every week). Also, he has been in a monthly penny ante poker game for years with his core friends. Our closest friend (friends since 1974) called to say that my husband is no longer able to track the hands and betting. So since he won't know when they play, they are dropping him from the game...without telling him.

I feel so bad/sad for him. He recognizes the physical decline, not so much the mental.

I still have difficulty wrapping my head around that a bout of exhaustion/heat exhaustion could cause such a rapid decline.

By jaxrock On 2015.07.08 09:52
Of course, you must tell his doctor and get his/her advice.....It could be something other than heat exhaustion..In fact, I would suspect it is..
This has been happening to my husband - for no apparent reason.(other than he has had PD for a long time)..He has only recently figured out that his mental abilities are declining....I've noticed it for years..
I, too, feel sad for my husband...we hate to see them "left out" of anything..but, the reality is, they can't function as well as before.
I truly hope your husband's doctor can help..maybe a change in medications...but, perhaps we just have to adjust our expectations....Sad, isn't it?
Take care of yourself.... accept help/assistance from anyone who offers it...
Good thoughts are with you.

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