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Losing thought process in oldage. Talk about irrelevant things. What can be done to help?

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Practicing since : 2004
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Hello doctor. I am Professor XXXXXXX My mother is around 88 years. Her general health condition is good. Of late from past 6 months she seems to be losing a liitle on her thought process. She will be speaking normally.But suddenly she develops some fear and talks something unconnected. That will be there for a couple of minutes and goes off.But it keeps coming often in a day. she came to Bangalore a month before from Shimoga.Kindly advice
Posted Fri, 8 Jun 2012 in Anxiety and Stress
Answered by Dr. Ashish Mittal 1 hour later
Thanks for your query.

If there is no past history of any psychiatric illness then anxiety, depression or psychosis is distant possibility in her case.

Late onset thought disturbance, episodic fearfulness, irrelevant talk can occur in following condition in order of preference:

-Delirium: It indicate some severe underlying illness. need to investigated by several test like: serial mental status examination, liver/kidney function test, EEG, MRI, EEG, Blood sugar level, Serum electrolytes. Choice of tests depend on examination findings of physician. Presence of fracture is a risk factor for delirium.
-Dementia: Need similar evaluation as above
-Above both conditions together
-Dementia with psychotic symptoms

Such cases need to be investigated and treated with consultation with neurologist and psychiatrist.

I hope this information has been both informative and helpful for you. In case of any doubt, I will be available for follow ups.

Wish you good health.
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