Last reply 2 months ago
Dementia due to MS?

After nearly 3 years of searching for answers to my wife’s rapid cognitive decline, multiple tests and MRIs and second opinions it is clear she has a the syndrome of Dementia.

Our local neurologist as well as the team at UCLA agree that the cause is MS. Images show significant brain atrophy. I am looking for answers on what to expect, but fear the worst.

Just two years ago she was having difficulty with directions while driving. Today, we are experiencing the following: puts clothes on inside out and backward, has trouble finding our bedroom or bathroom, asked our 13-year-old daughter if she has permission from her parents to be at our house, puts used toilet paper in her pockets or in cabinets. She cannot sign or spell her name anymore.

Just this week, she introduced me to “a nice lady she has been talking to” which was her reflection in the mirror. My reflection was also in the mirror, so I asked if she knew who it was. She knew it was me, so I pointed to her reflection and asked who the lady was. She said she didn’t know and then asked her reflection, “I,m sorry I forgot your name”, and then introduced me as her husband. She enjoys her conversations with the mirror and is very upbeat and positive.

Has anybody else experienced this?

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stumbler
2 months ago

@michael_washburn , I was so sorry to read your tale. I can’t start to imagine how hard it is to be losing your partner, whilst they are still physically there.

Anyway, I found the following snippet on the Alzheimer Society’s website :-

https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/about-dementia/types-dementia/multiple-sclerosis#:~:text=The%20term%20'dementia'%20is%20not,as%20'experiencing%20cognitive%20difficulties‘.

I’m sure the Alzheimer Society has had learned folk that came to the above conclusion. Personally, I wouldn’t see MS as the cause either. But, I am not learned.

The actual cause becomes academic when you’re losing your partner. You just want to know whether there’s any treatment to rectify the situation and bring your partner back.


itsmewithms
2 months ago

One phrase that Aaron Boster uses regularly in his You Tube videos about MS is that “Sometimes Mother Nature can be too generous” in that we can have additional diseases beyond “just” MS. That is that having MS doesn’t make us immune to other health issues. They can check her MRIs for black holes and atrophy that could be related to MS but consider, too, that she may have a compounding medical issue leading to this. My mom had Parkinson’s and while these symptoms don’t sound like that she gradually lost her interest in anything beyond her sight and then her reach and had a hard time understanding many concepts and conversation. It is hard to “lose someone” while they are physically right here with you. I’d encourage you to look at all possibilities but know that MS can cause significant cognitive decline as well. Hope you can find something that helps.


michael_washburn
2 months ago

Thank you – I agree the cause is irrelevant if it doesn’t lead to a treatment option.

Both our our neurologists are convinced that the atrophy caused by MS is the cause of her decline. Our local neurologist, after some pressing about other causes, put my wife on Aricept for about 3 weeks. Aricept is used to treat Alzheimer. He told us we would see no effect if the cause wasn’t Alzheimer – which was the case.

My mother has both Parkinson’s as well as Lewy Body Dementia, so I am familiar with both. My wife’s cognition and confusion is much worse than my mother’s.

Again, thank you both.


vixen
2 months ago

Hi @michael_washburn, I am sorry for your situation; it’s easy for the carer to get left out when people talk about dealing with things. And your daughter is so young; how is she coping? Maybe it is a commonly known/discussed fact, but the cognitive deficits of MS can be alarming. Anyways, your wife is lucky she has you; but don’t forget that you need to look after yourself too….. 🙂


michael_washburn
2 months ago

Thank you very much. I try to normalize my daughter’s life as much as possible. She is a strong girl – but she shouldn’t have to deal with having her mom fade away.

I did find an article indicating that MS can cause this, albeit it is rare.

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamaneurology/article-abstract/798003

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