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How does MMPI help with diagnosing of dementia?

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Dr. Sunil Gupta

Psychiatrist

Practicing since :2005

Answered : 637 Questions

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Posted on Mon, 4 Aug 2014 in Eating Disorders
Question: What do you know about the MMPI with diagnosing dementia ... maybe vascular dementia? I know of someone who is scoring
Scale F - 61
Scale FP - 63
Scale K - 62
Scale S - 63
Scale D - 61
Scale Pd - 62
Scale Pt - 64
Scale Sc - 67
doctor
Answered by Dr. Sunil Gupta 4 hours later
Brief Answer:
Please see details below

Detailed Answer:
Hi,

I went through your query in detail and can appreciate your concern regarding your husband's symptoms.

Regarding MMPI, it is a test for understanding various aspects of personality. The various abbreviations that you have mentioned are sub scales of MMPI. F stands for infrequency, FP is for frequency of psychopathology, K for defensiveness, S for superlative self presentation, D for depression, Pt for psychasthenia (worry, anxiety), Pd for psychopathic deviate (regarding following rules), Sc for schizophrenia )odd thinking).

You husband has score mostly in the high range. In none, he is a very high scorer. It just suggest how his personality profile is. What is more important is his scoring low average in visual spatial cognition and mostly low average in the visual learning and memory. In addition to this, the history of definite personality change is what would have prompted your treating psychiatrist to consider dementia as an option. Most of the time personality changes later in life is associated with some kind of brain pathology. It is quite common in dementia.

Considering the fact that your husband has both personality changes as well as forgetfulness, judgement issues and has cored low on learning and memory, it is necessary to rule out an underlying brain pathology. Ischemic infarcts, more son in fronto-temporal area can lead to such things. Since, he has had no motor impairments, they are considering silent infarcts.

So, it is the whole picture of clinical presentation and psychological testing that is causing your treating team to suspect vascular dementia rather than MMPI score alone.

Regarding replying to your personal email id, I am sorry about that. You can always contact here on this forum and I will try to help my best possible.

I do hope that I have answered your query. Please don't hesitate to follow up with any additional questions that you might have.

Best wishes,

Dr. Sunil Gupta






Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Sunil Gupta 42 hours later
I wrote a follow up on Saturday, but I don't think it went through.

It seems that when he comes home from work, that HE is a lot of work. Whereas, at the beginning of our marriage...for 20 years...he was so easy and fun. The changes are so subtle and have been going on for 13 years. It is almost like going from HDTV to the black and white TV with nobs missing. Forgetfulness, lack of empathy, strange insight at times... I get anxiety just being around him. He is stressful. What will he say or do next? stress! Even if incidences only happen 2-4 times in a day, you would think I could focus on the times in the day when he seems to be like he used to be. Sigh! I wish I could be more resilient and do a better job overlooking weird things that come up. I feel like I could get dementia from the depression I feel about the situation. My brain slips here and there with this stress. yikes!

It will become really hard when he retires in October because of visual spatial issues. Financially, he really needs to work five more years so that our children can finish college. So, at age 61 I will be entering the real world of work. I have been working 25 years doing volunteer work and teaching our kids at home. Changes are coming for him and me. We have role reversals coming up. Not sure how this will go.

Yet, in public and crowd situations, he "rises" to the occasion and no one can see the discrepancies and changes that I see. He is an extrovert.

When you see these personality *'s as indicated on the MMPI! would you see bigger challenges in a close relationship?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Sunil Gupta 2 hours later
Brief Answer:
Close relationships get affected the most.

Detailed Answer:
Hi,

Thanks for following up and yes, this is the only follow up I have got.

I can completely understand what you must have been going through day in and day out. Spending years with these situations which i still more complicated by the fact that it is going to get worse is really very stressful. It must be taking a toll upon you.

Any personality deterioration can be very detrimental to close relationships. With your husband, the significant areas scored on MMPI denotes multiple areas of involvement ranging from worries to very odd/eccentric kind of thinking. It definitely causes a lot of friction in close relationships. It is worsened by the fact that the person himself doesn't have any insight into his problems and the people next to him have to suffer the most.

As of now, the first thing to do will be determine if there is any organic basis to it. That is what you are going to know when you see a neurologist next. Following that, it will be needed to determine steps that will be required to tackle the behavioral problems in your husband. Most importantly, it will be required to ensure that you are able to cope up with whatever is going to happen and make sure that you remain strong enough to overcome whatever that may come ahead.

I do hope that things start taking a positive turn for you. Please let me know if I can be of further help to you. I will be glad to help. In case you decide to close the discussion, please do rate the answer.

Best wishes,

Dr. Sunil Gupta


Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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