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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Suggest treatment for dizziness, forgetfulness and clumsiness in an elderly person

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Dr. Olsi Taka

Neurologist

Practicing since :2004

Answered : 3631 Questions

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Posted on Fri, 23 Oct 2015 in Elderly Problems
Question: My father is 66 he has over the past year been losing his short term memory, forgetting he has been to the toilet, leaving his car turned on etc becoming more clumsy, yesterday he said he woke very dizzy and sick he went back to bed and woke up two hours later feeling a lot better, this however started by having itchy feet then with in 30 minutes he was itchy all over from his head to toes, the day prior he had a very cold hand and complained of very sore bones again his entire body. He has also developed slured speech however yesterday he stuttered regained his train of thought but when he spoke it was slured. He has suffered when in his youth a XXXXXXX stroke which he fully recovered from then in his 40's broke his neck also fully recovered from this. What are your thoughts? He is a very very stubborn man whom has not been to a doctor since his neck injury.
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Answered by Dr. Olsi Taka 2 hours later
Brief Answer:
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Detailed Answer:
I read your question carefully and I understand your concern.

From what you describe it seems there is a cognitive impairment which could be the beginning of dementia. The causes of that can be several. The most common is Alzheimer’s disease, followed by repeated strokes, called vascular dementia (which is certainly possible considering the episodes of dizziness and slurred speech you describe and his history of stroke in youth which means he is a person at risk). Other causes may include Parkinson’s and other rare neurodegenerative disease, thyroid deficiency, vitamin B12 deficiency.

So certainly your father needs an evaluation, initially to evaluate for other neurological signs and whether there is indeed a cognitive impairment through some tests (sort of questionnaires and simple tasks to evaluate different cognition spheres) as at times there may turn out not to be a real cognitive impairment as there are factors like anxiety or depression which can influence attention and hence affect retention of information.

If indeed there is cognitive impairment he should have a battery of tests like MRI, blood count, glucose, liver and kidney function, thyroid function, electrolytes, vitamin B12 levels. If MRI evidences stroke investigations on the cause will also be necessary. So while I understand there is some convincing to do, he will have to eventually see a physician and have some tests.

I remain at your disposal for further questions.

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