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Repititiveness, forgetfullness, garbled speech, eyes watery, history of high blood pressure. What should be done?

My father is 54 years old. He has a history of high blood pressure and is on medication for it though he doesn t take it regularly. In the mornings and while at work (he s a lawyer), he is completely lucid and coherent- like his normal self. However, he often comes home in a very different state. He has trouble carrying on a conversation, often saying things that are unrelated to each other or to the conversation, or telling us the same things he told us the night before, or has trouble understanding what we re saying even though we ve explained it more than once. He has also come home and panicked because no one was home. Sometimes his speech seems garbled and his eyes watery, but he doesn t smell of alcohol. He often comes home and wants to go straight to bed. It s made family life very difficult, and since he refuses to see any doctors, we don t know if he s just overly tired or stressed when he comes home, if he s depressed, if he s on some medication we don t know about, or if there could be something in his brain causing this. We d appreciate any advice or ideas as to what could be going on here. Thanks very much for your time, Elizabeth M.
Asked On : Sat, 21 Jul 2012
Answers:  1 Views:  48
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Cardiologist 's  Response
Dear patient,

The symptoms are obviously worrisome, particularly of an altered mental status due to a metabolic process (high blood sugar), a neurodegenerative disease (like Alzheimers) or a substance that you cannot "smell" (drugs like opiods, cocaine, meth).

A visit to a doctor is needed to conduct a mental exam, a physical exam and even perhaps in the set of laboratory tests a drug screen; as stressed out professionals, we are subject to higher rates of substance abuse or misuse.

Yours truly,

Dr Brenes-Salazar MD
Mayo Clinic MN
Answered: Fri, 19 Jul 2013
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