Friday, October 31, 2014

Monday, May 05, 2008 eleanor richardson, Community Member, asks

Q: is seizures normal for alzheimers patients

my friend is in stage 7 of alzheimers and has started to have seizers i am wondering if this is normal?

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Answers (6)
Dorian Martin, Health Guide
5/ 9/08 9:24am

Hi, Eleanor,

 

When my mom was in the hospital two weeks before she died, we noticed that she was experiencing seizures. Afraid that she was having a stroke, we asked the nursing staff to call the doctor, who had just left that hall. Luckily, the doctor was nearby and came quickly. After observing Mom, he shared with us that seizures are indeed part of Alzheimer's, caused by the disease's attack on various regions of the brain.

 

Having heard what the hospital doctor told us about Mom's seizures, I think that it's still good to check with your friend's doctor about the seizures (because, of course, it could be something else).

 

Take care!

 

Dorian

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janiece vest, Community Member
11/ 8/10 10:42pm

what do these seizures usually look like? my mom is in late stages and just to nursing home in last 30 days due to a fall. 3 x's in last month, two facilities, she's been taken to e.r. . nurses check in to find her asleep and pretty much non-responsive due to her meds, but 'foaming' at mouth. by the time she gets to e.r., no signs and no answers, just send her back.  i don't know what to do.

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Dorian Martin, Health Guide
7/18/11 3:43pm

In Mom's case, these seizures had jerking motions throughout the body. She did not have foaming at the mouth.

 

Take care!

 

Dorian

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Jim, Community Member
6/16/12 3:24am

My wife was diagnosed with Alzheimer's 4 years ago(she was 62 at the time). Up until this year she had had no seizures until recently. Once about two months ago, and more recently today. Each time, she cries out as if she is scared, and then colapses(faints). She struggles like she is having difficulty breathing and begins to foam at the mouth. After about 10 minutes, her breathing returns to normal;however, even though she appears to be conscious, she is not responsive to my voice. After about 30 minutes, she is responsive enough for me to get her to her feet. She has no memory of the seizure. I am concerned because, she can still actively move around the house without any outside assistance and I am afraid that the next time she falls that she will seriously injure herself. Are there any symptoms that I should look for to recognize an impending seizure?

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Sue, Community Member
5/ 5/08 7:48am

Hello Eleanor and thanks for your question. 

 

I search our site and the material does reference that seizures are at times part of this disease.  You can read more in our Understanding Alzheimer's section.  As well, you may also be interested in reading our Stages of Alzheimer's material.

 

Hope this helps, all the best, sue (moderator)

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NC, Community Member
5/ 5/08 11:45am

Seizure or stage 7 of Alzheimers is not "normal". But it could be part of stage 7 of Alzheimer's. And it is quite late in the stage.

My father-in-law is in late stage 6 so it does not happen to him yet.

 

Nina

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sapna_321, Community Member
8/31/08 9:27pm

My father had his first seizer this weekend.  Can someone give me more information please.

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Al Keller, Community Member
6/11/11 2:08am

My 63 year old wife was diagnosed with Alzheimers in 2007, and had 6 or 7 seizures, one as recent as two weeks ago, lasting about 60 seconds.  It was during a church service, and she came out of it and seemed "normal" for her condition.  Others have lasted longer, some shorter, but as I learned from a caregiver support group, and research studies at UCI Irvine, CA, seizures can be a part of Alzeimers.  One must be aware or the symtoms to be able to recognize them, but you will know after you have experienced one happening.  In the case of my wife, she becomes listless and spacey, and sometimes has spastic body movements.  She is incoherent during the seizures and usually doesn"t remember havihg one.  I hope this helps anyone who is a caregiver for a loved one.  I would be glad to converse with any person, because we are all going through this with unknown outcomes. I am a christian and rely on Gods guidance and comfort to get me through this stressful time.  We have been married for almost 44 years and I take my marriage vows seriously, which is getting more frustrating and stressful as each day brings something unexpected......up and down moods, etc.  Do the best you can, don't take things personally, and learn to laugh a lot.                                                   Blessings, from Al

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Margret, Community Member
7/13/11 9:14pm
God Bless you Al, I'm the wife of an Alzheimer's patient. My husband had his first seizure two weeks ago, then again yesterday. I really thought he was having a stroke. His doctor has never mentioned anything about seizures in Alzheimer's patients. I think we will learn about our spouses illness as we go along. Although I've been to caregivers training and support groups, I've learned that you do what works for you and your loved one. My husband was diagnosed in2005, so he's in the later stages. Just know that I'll keep you and yours in our prayers. Reply
VIVIAN WICKMAN, Community Member
7/22/11 4:25am

Hi Al,

I am an administrator and caregiver of a facility for Elderly. We have residents who have the same issue as your wife..Sad to say that but you are right, dont panic, do the right thing...call the doctor and thereafter just treat like nothing happen...think of those things that you enjoys both, and do it on times that she is in the up mood...she is still your wife, she's still the same person and woman that you love...the only thing that change is the comprehension...take care and God bless

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B sommer, Community Member
4/ 5/12 1:52am

My mother has had three seizures over the last two weeks.  I had not realized it could be a part of Alzheimer's.  She is in the last part of stage 6 and moving rapidly into stage 7.  We took her to her Doctor, who happened to be on vacation and although he wanted to keep her in the hospital for a couple of days to run a lot of test, we have only agreed to drive her to these tests and meet with a neurologist as well.  Is anyone else frustrated with the medical profession regarding the lack of understanding that they show the patient and the family?  We are at a point that I don't want her to have agressive procedures and hospitalization, but I would appreciate understanding and valid information from our Doctor's and nurses.  She has a EEG scheduled next week and we were informed that we had to keep her awake all night, how do you keep someone awake who sleeps most of the day and night, and is maybe up for a total of 5 hours.  The nurse just looked at me when I tried to explain that my mother can sleep 12 hours at night and fall asleep while drinking her morning coffee.

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starkman, Community Member
7/25/12 8:27pm

Mom is at late stage 7 of  Alzheimer's and I don't expect she will make it much longer - perhaps even tonight.  She started having seizures a couple of weeks ago while residing at the assisted living facility and was given valium to help relax and mitigate the seizure activity.  After 5-6 days, we were able to have her moved to our home - so we could watch her 24 hours - and slowly weaned her off the valium, with doctor's care.  This morning we noticed she is seizing again and we've had to start the valium again.  Moments ago we inserted a valium suppository (again, with doctor's orders, of course) and we hope that stops the valium.  We just pray that she is comfortable - that is our primary concern.  We adamantly refuse to over-medicate; we don't want to think we medicated her to death if death occurs.  If death happens during normal medical care, we can accept that.

 

It is comforting to know that these seizure activities are not likely known to the patient.  Apparently, the seizure indicates electrical activity in the brain is not working nromally and, therefore, not usually remembered.  That is a blessing.

 

But still difficult to watch.

 

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Carol Bradley Bursack, Health Guide
7/26/12 8:28am

I'm so sorry. This is a tough time, and  you are right that the seizures are very difficult to watch. As you said, she likely has no realization that she is having them. Seizures are often part of the last weeks of life. You seem to have a good understanding of what is going on. My condolences to you and your family.

Blessings,

Carol

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starkman, Community Member
7/26/12 3:32pm

Thank you for your concern, Carol. 

 

Mom passed away about three hours ago.  Her seizures finally stopped about midnight last night.  So, she was seizure free overnight and until her last breath.  That was a blessing to us, no doubt.

 

Mom will be missed and I will do what I can to bring awareness to eradicate this terrrible disease.

 

To me fellow caregivers... Hang in there!  You are doing God's work and you will come away with a richer attachment to your loved one.

 

I consider my time with my Mom a true blessing and have told my siblings that I was the lucky child - to be there when Mom needed me most.

 

My Dad passed away just two months ago, and I was there with him at his passing too.  I have been twice blessed - I just wish it wasn't during the same summer, of course.

 

God bless you.

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Carol Bradley Bursack, Health Guide
7/26/12 3:38pm

She is now at peace.

It's hard to have both parents pass so close together, but that is very common in long-term marriages. My mother died 5 months after my dad. I don't think she felt there was anything left to live for. You have been blessed, as I was, in being with them. Please keep sharing your hard-earned experience and strength with other caregivers.

Blessings to you all,

Carol

 

 

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starkman, Community Member
7/26/12 3:49pm

Yup, long marriages tend to cause loved ones to depend -completely - on each other.  Mom and Dad were married for 62 years.

 

As much as I miss my parents, I cannot fathom how I would deal with my wife of 33 years passing away.  I pray neither of us has to worry about that for several years.

 

Again, thanks for your concern, Carol.

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paul, Community Member
12/ 6/13 3:50am

My dad is in his 7th stage he is65 he has just been brought to hospital from the nursing home with seizures every 6 to 8minutes does this mean its near the end as i am in another county i need to get to him.

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Carol Bradley Bursack, Health Guide
12/ 7/13 9:38am

Hi Paul,

Not even a doctor can tell for sure, and I'm not a medical person. However, from what you described, I'd say you should go home if you want to be there for him. I've had two elders taken by seizures at the end of life. Blessings to you.

Carol

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apins, Community Member
12/ 8/13 1:27pm

My mom is 62 and in stage 7 she had her first seizure in Sept and yesturday she had two more.  I didn't think we had long after her seizure in Sept.  Things were very rough in Sept and Oct but mid Nov things were looking up but now we are back to her being almost completely unresponsive.  This such a sad process to watch.  

 

 

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Carol Bradley Bursack, Health Guide
12/ 9/13 4:31pm

Hi Apins,

Yes, the seizures and the slow death process are so heartbreaking to watch. I'm hoping that your mother isn't in pain. Sometimes, that's the best we can do during these last stages.I'm sorry for her and for your whole family.

Blessings,

Carol

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By eleanor richardson, Community Member— Last Modified: 04/28/14, First Published: 05/05/08