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Diagnosed with COPD. Was falling asleep frequently, had accident and talking out loud with oneself. Is it Dementia?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2001
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My 83 year old father was recently diagnosed with COPD.Shortly before this he has been falling asleep in the dining room and living room frequently and this may also contributed to a vehicle accident he had where he rolled his car.He is under Doctors orders not to drive at this time.He often sits during his naps and sometimes when he is awake.Talking out loud like he is carrying on a conversation,with whom I do not know.I was wondering just what the symptoms of Dementia are?
Posted Sun, 8 Sep 2013 in Brain and Spine
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 20 minutes later
Brief Answer:
if he is hallucinating then it is possible

Detailed Answer:
Hi, thanks for using healthcare magic

Dementia is the loss of the ability to think, reason, remember, pay or keep attention.
There is also loss of language ability. This means the ability to understand what is said and speak clearly and coherently.

This all results in disorganised actions/ speech.

In general the symptoms would be : loss of memory
(2) difficulty in getting through normal household activities
(3)mood swings or agitation
(4)poor judgement
(5)unable to answer questions appropriately or find the appropriate words
(6)poor hygiene
(7)unable to plan
(8) hallucinations

The excess drowsiness is not a sign or symptom of dementia but if he is hallucinating and talking out loud to someone then that is a possible indicator.

If he is talking to himself, it may not be necessary.

Because dementia can be caused by electrolyte abnormalities, infections, ischemia (reduced blood supply due to hypertension), side effect of medications- all of these must first be ruled out.

There is screening questionnaire that is usually used to determine if there is any evidence of dementia, called XXXXXXX mental status examination

This involves blood tests and imaging investigations.

I hope this helps, feel free to ask any additional questions

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