Scared and wondering what's next?

Just two weeks ago I had an MRI. Some changes in the white matter vessels, and my DR referred me to a neurologist. They did a bunch of tests and told me I have mild cognitive impairment. My first indication of possible neurological problems was that I lost my sense of smell. Then my son noticed I was having memory problems. Now I am going for work ups by a ENT DR and a assessment by a shrink. OMG is there any way to definitively diagnose Alzheimer's and dimentia? The neurologist stopped short of saying I have alzheimers, but said the indications are there.

Please anyone shed some light? I did some on line research and got more scared. Most sites are directed at the caregiver.

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  • I'm not a medical professional and don't want to scare you more, but I want to comment on your loss of sense of smell. My daughter was seen by a neurologist who ran tests and diagnosed her symptoms as that of migraine. Further tests revealed she had a benign brain tumor. She is fine following surgery. I'm glad your having additional assessments.

  • I have symptoms that have been flagged as non-progressive MCI. There is an excellent book on the subject which might be of some value to you. The book is called Living with Mild Cognitive Impairment (A Guide to Maximizing Brain Health and Reducing the Risk of Dementia) written by Nicole D. Anderson & Kelly J. Murphy PhD along with Angela K. Troyer, PhD. It is very informative and may give you enough information to become less frightened. You should be able to pick it up from any bookstore. The ISBN number is 978-0-19-976482-2. I have struggled with my symptoms for over 20 years and have not digressed to any dimension of dementia or Alzheimers.

  • Thank you so much for the book name. I got it on my reader. Still reading, but so far this book has been very helpful. Right now I am doing the Dr. Roulette. Seeing a sleep specialist (likely not until the first of next year) and an ear nose and throat specialist in a week or so. The book "!iving with MCI" is great, and the first case study fits me to a tee. It is shocking to read and feel like someone has been looking over my shoulder. Thank you is small for how helpful this book is.

    I am considering going to a naturopathic Dr locally. I want to pursue every possible avenue - leave no stone unturned.

    I am still scared: but gaining knowledge and making connections has helped a lot. I am trying to be a good advocate for myself.

    Has anyone else tried a naturopathic approach? Or know of another avenue for help.

  • I am so glad that you have found some comfort Katiebethpdxsea in my recommendation. Your "thanks" are plenty, just knowing that it helped has blessed me. Have a great day!

  • A small update. In the book I read that antihistamines can exacerbate memory problems. I have been taking over the counter sleep aids that contain antihistamine and asprin for the last 10 years...every night.

    I am going to stop taking these immediately!

    Could this be part of my problem?

  • Visiting a neurology center that specializes in Alheimer's or dementia will increase your likelihood of obtaining a definitive diagnosis.

    SS benefits and other things are dependent upon having a definitive diagnosis. There are many Alzheimer specialist around the country. Your neurologist should be able to help you with a referral to an appropriate center.

    I'm sort of in the same boat right now. Meet with neurology office on Monday to see if I can get a referral for a 2nd opinion.