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Diagnosed with brain atrophy. Inserted feeding tube. How does brain atrophy occur and what is life expectancy?

My mother inlaw was just diagnosed with brain atrophy . They have inserted a feeding tube since she cannot eat on her own. Previously to this, she fell and broke her hip. She had surgery to repair her hip and was in physical therapy at the hospital. She was then moved to the VA hospital where my father inlaw is and she started undergoing physical therapy. She stopped physical therapy and started to decline. The VA sent her to the hospital to see if they could help with her eating and memory . She would talk nonsense over the phone about people she knew in her past that are no longer alive and would talk gibberish. How does brain atrophy occur and what is her life expectancy? She is 80 years old.
Asked On : Sun, 1 Jul 2012
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Neurologist 's  Response
Nov 2013

Thank you for posting your query.

I have noted the symptoms of your mother in law.

She has features of dementia, most likely caused by Alzheimer's disease (AD). AD is a condition, where there is cerebral atrophy (shrinkage of brain), leading to loss of brain functions, including memory.

The exact cause is not known, however, it is a degenerative disease.

As of now, there is no cure for AD. However, with proper care and nursing, life expectancy can be almost normal.

I hope my answer helps. Please get back if you have any follow up queries or if you require any additional information.

Wishing you good health,

Dr Sudhir Kumar MD (Internal Medicine), DM (Neurology)
Senior Consultant Neurologist
Apollo Hospitals, Hyderabad, India
Click on this link to ask me a DIRECT QUERY:

Answered: Fri, 28 Mar 2014
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