What causes word finding problems in elderly?

Posted on Mon, 15 Jun 2015 in Brain and Spine
Question: I am an 83 yr old man I am presently undergoing radiation and hormone therapy. i recently had a problem forming certain words during conversation and I am really upset by that. It still happens the odd time.Do you have a clue.
Answered by Dr. Olsi Taka 30 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Possible cognitive impairment

Detailed Answer:
I read your question carefully and I understand your concern.

It would have been useful if you could have said something over the type of radiotherapy and chemotherapy that you are receiving, because both radio and chemio therapy can have neurological side effects but they vary according to region and type.

In the absence of such info for the moment I can say that word finding difficulty can be a sign of cognitive impairment, which can herald a demential syndrome like Alzheimer's disease. But only that is not enough though, other higher mental functions must be involved, so if you have no other memory, judgement issues, difficulty performing daily functions etc you shouldn't panic. To evaluate whether that is the case you should talk to your doctor about a standard neuropsychological test, like XXXXXXX Mental State Exam, a sort of questionnary to evaluate other cognitive functions. Also a physical neuro exam for neurological signs you might've missed is advisable.

I remain at your disposal for further questions possibly including the info on your therapy I mentioned.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Follow up: Dr. Olsi Taka 1 hour later
Thankyou for your response. I have a XXXXXXX score 8 prostate cancer for which I am receiving 39 laser treatments plus hormones consisting of a shot lasting 6 mos plus a pill for 30 days which I have completed. I have had 5 Radiation treatments so far without any noticeable side effects. "hot flashes" from hormones occurring regularly, Does this help?
Answered by Dr. Olsi Taka 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
Read below.

Detailed Answer:
Thank you for providing some more info and in a precise manner. That does help in that it makes me feel more confident in my previous reply.

Considering the therapy you receive for that type of cancer those speech issues shouldn't be related to the therapy. So what I wrote above remains valid, while as I said isolated those episodes might not mean much an evaluation for involvement of other higher mental functions through the XXXXXXX Mental State Exam (or other similar tests used for that purpose) is recommended considering your age which makes you prone to develop Alzheimer's.

If there is some other symptom or sign you want to discuss I remain available. I hope to have been of help.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Answered by
Dr. Olsi Taka


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