Dear Lyn—February 2016

Dear Lyn,

I just saw my doctor and she said that I am showing signs of confusion – my son called and set up the appointment!  My children think I have dementia.  I admit I’m more forgetful than I used to be, but I don’t think there has been too big of change.  Now they want me to have a bunch of tests – does this mean I might have Alzheimer’s Disease?


Robert S.



Dear Robert S.,

I am so glad you are having some tests done because it is important that you get answers about the confusion you sometimes experience.  You might have dementia or the doctor may find some other, completely treatable, cause that can she assist you with and help you feel better.

There are many, many types of diseases that fall under the umbrella of “dementia.”    Alzheimer’s Disease has become one of the more recognized diseases thanks to increased community awareness over the last 5-10 years.

Some of the dementias that you may have heard about are:

  • Lewy Bodies (comedian Robin Williams was diagnosed with it after he passed away),
  • CTE or Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (NFL in the news due to the relationship to concussions),
  • Vascular dementia (brought on by series of small strokes over time),
  • Toxic dementia (developed over time due to prolonged alcohol abuse or drug abuse)
  • Over 50 total types of dementia disorders.

Complete your testing and discuss your questions with you doctor to know what your next steps might be.  I highly recommend, if your family is able, that one of your children attend these appointments.  It can help the time go faster and then they’ll be there to support you as you discover the answers to your and their questions.

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