Parkinsons and memory problems

My Dad was diagnosed in 2000 at a young age, only 58, so he has lived 20 years with this wretched disease. Seeing my Dad slowly physically deteriorate is heartbreaking. The past 5 years especially have definitely taken a hold. He has been experiencing memory issues for quite some time now. He’s had urine infections and compacted bowel in the past which have caused delirium. However, his confusion is getting more often even though there aren’t any infections going on. He always knows where he is, who we are etc. But he will say something at random that is associated to his past such as getting picked up for work, cycling home from work etc. He is 79 now so it’s a long time since he worked or even cycled! It’s quite comical at times what he pipes up with. He’s having a ct head scan tomo and memory tests at the end of Feb. I genuinely think he has some sort of memory issue. He has delirium sporadically and the odd hallucination. I’m so worried and upset as I cannot bear the thoughts of my Dad potentially having some sort of dementia. It’s been hard enough seeing how this disease has robbed my Dad and Mum of a happy retirement. Is dementia with Parkinson’s similar to the other types of dementia? As a family we are so distressed with this possibility. Please anyone who has experienced this please make contact. I know my Dad is at risk of PD Dementia but we just don’t know what to expect. Or why he’s ok majority of the time and then throws a random thought into the mix!

Hi Alza150;

I am 46yo, i was diagnosed last year with PD. Before my diagnosis, i sensed i was forgetting matters at work and some at home. I found myself using more and more reminders on my computer screen and i kept a rough hard copy diary to carry with me, as well as a chalk board at home. Since then and beyond my diagnosis i still use my chalk board to remind me of various items that need my attention, it also doubles as a place funny comments can be added by friends and family, something i encourage.

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Hi alza150

Really sorry you are going through this. Dementia associated with Parkinson’s disease (PD) & the associated Lewy Body Dementia (DLB) are very different from Alzeihmers disease and intermittent episodes of confusion like you describe, together with hallucinations, are typical of PD dementia & DLB. My husband, who is a couple of years younger than your father, has similar symptoms with occasional episodes of confusion and hallucinations but is more or less ok for much of the time. His neurologist thinks it will progress slowly. The most difficult thing I find is that it is all so unpredictable. Sounds as though your father is receiving good care & proper investigation of his symptoms which should provide you with some answers.

Very best wishes to your family. :slightly_smiling_face:

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My Dad can barely write anymore but we do jot things down for him. He’s rarely on his own so forgetting medications etc isn’t a prob. He still enjoys reading the newspaper and he checks the lottery numbers every week. He never forgets to do that! Just hope we get some good news from the scan and tests. Thank you for replying. Best wishes to you

Thank you for your reply. Your husband sounds like my Dad. Ok for most of the time but we have definitely noticed the confusion more often. We have had many laughs from some of the things he has said. My Dad has always been comical. But it’s also upsetting and worrying as there is definitely a change in him. He ‘switches off’ a lot more than he used to. Like he’s not with us or aware of anything around him. Then suddenly he’s back in the moment. It’s a horrible disease. Thanks again for your encouraging reply.

It is a horrible disease. You take care too.

Hi alza150 and welcome.

My husband was diagnosed aged 47 and lived with Parkinson’s for 21 years, latterly also having memory problems and eventually being diagnosed with vascular dementia. What you describe, the random thoughts and words that he says could just be part of the ageing process. Have you thought about asking your GP for a cognitive ability assessment.? This can be done in the surgery and if it shows cause for concern then referral to a memory clinic is an option. Early intervention and professional care/monitoring is important. Knowing is also vital for all those concerned.