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Tell me about the Addenbrooke's test

(6 Posts)
Noitsnotteatimeyet Fri 30-Dec-16 10:43:27

My elderly and increasingly frail father was in hospital for three weeks before Christmas after several falls in the space of a few days. He broke his hip three years ago and has never recovered properly - his mobility had been deteriorating for several years before that but the fracture seemed to be a tipping point. He can only get around very slowly with a walking frame and he shuffles rather than walks. He's very prone to falls and is extremely weak and barely eats anything - usually just things like soup or yogurt.

We've noticed that his cognitive abilities have been declining markedly over the last few months but everyone's assured us there's nothing wrong. He's also become profoundly deaf and we can now only communicate by writing everything down on a whiteboard.

While he was in hospital he was given the Addenbrooke's cognitive test and scored 65 out of a possible 100, with particular difficulties with short term memory and executive planning. Dr Google tells me that's not good confused

Does anyone have any experience of how according the test is and if he does have some sort of dementia what kind of timeframe are we looking at? He's nearly 91 and heart, lungs etc all fine

CMOTDibbler Fri 30-Dec-16 10:59:57

If he was tested in hospital, these things aren't totally accurate as hospital can be disorientating in itself (plus your dads communication problems won't help). However I think that kind of score would warrant follow up with the memory service so they can determine what is happening.

Unfortunatly, there are no timeframes with dementia - some people decline very quickly, some slowly, some with plateaus and sharp drops

GreatNorthern Fri 30-Dec-16 13:18:26

A low score in the test doesn't always mean there is dementia. My father scored slightly more than yours, but he doesn't have dementia. He has cognitive decline and impairment of cognitive skills, brought on by various other illnesses. Mine had a slight stroke some years ago and a severe chest infection more recently which caused the memory issues.

He was assessed by the memory clinic and the consultant said he does not have dementia. There may be a decline due to old age but it's not progressive like dementia.

Day to day he can't recall much short term- often doesn't know the day of the week, unable to take his medication without prompts, gets up in the night sometimes, thinking it's morning....has lost the ability to read and listen to radio as he can't retain the information.

So all I'm saying is your dad may not get worse!

GreatNorthern Fri 30-Dec-16 13:20:58

ps- Has your dad been offered hearing aids? Mine is deaf- totally in 1 ear and pretty bad in the other- but hearing aids help. He's a few weeks off 91 but also has declining kidneys.

Noitsnotteatimeyet Fri 30-Dec-16 14:08:08

Thanks both

He does have hearing aids but they don't make much difference - we think the hearing is more of a processing problem as apparently his hearing with the aids in is not too bad when tested, but he still can't hear anything...

He's also unable to read any more as he doesn't have enough concentration

He doesn't appear to have any other health problems though so nothing obviously causing the confusion

GreatNorthern Fri 30-Dec-16 15:04:04

It can be 'just' old age. Brain cells die off when the blood supply is limited and this can be through hardening of the arteries, not actual dementia or Alzheimers which is different. My father's is classed as 'vascular cognitive impairment'.

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