Dementia

Q: My mother is about 73 years old and in the last one year we are observing that she is having memory lapse. She is obese (about 70 kg weight) and has 8 children. She is taking Envas 5 mg (daily 1 tablet in the night) for BP for last 2 to 3 years, apart from vitamin and calcium tablets. Based on a general doctors recommendation, last 3 months she is also given ASA (1 tablet a day). Problems observed are 1)If she sleeps for more time in the afternoon, after getting up she will feel it is morning and she wants to do regular morning activities like brushig teeth and taking a bath. Any amount of convincing by even very close people will not really convince her. 2) She feels every other day is a saturday. (She takes headbath on saturdays and observes some religious things - so she wants to take head bath on most of the days thinking that the day is saturday. Again any amount of convincing will not help. 3) Some times she loses sense of where we are. 4) She keeps repeating what she has told (she fogets that she has told). Her memory used to be very good and she used to remember the dates of birth/stars of a big list of all our relitives. She remembers even now many things at certain times only. Request your help and suggestion on how I should procced with the treatment. There is no history of my mothers mother or anybody having similar problems at that age.

A:Your mother is apparently suffering from Dementia. We must check for treatable causes of this. A CT scan of the brain is necessary to check for structural lesion, tumor, clot, infarct etc. and we should do Serum B12 and Folate levels and thyroid hormone levels - T3, T4, TSH. Further treatment will depend on these tests. There would be many good Neurology centres in Chennai and it is not necessary to come here. The Madras General Hospital has a good neurology centre and there are several private clinics in Chennai.

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