Is it dementia? Father's V specific m... - Memory Health: Al...

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Is it dementia? Father's V specific memory issue


Hi there

New to this forum but use others here. My 82 yr old father in law is having a very specific memory issue. He keeps thinking is wife Babs is elsewhere, over the road (where her sister lives), that there are 3 Babs etc. When he thinks this, he just think his wife is a lady in the house, no agitation or fear.

Strange thing is how this comes and goes, it's like a switch is flicked off, and he suddenly forgets, then just as quick he's back to normal. He can be perfectly normal for days, then have a bad morning. There are no other dementia like symptoms other than forgetting the word he was trying to say.

He's been scanned for mini stroke (all clear) and has had eeg (or whatever the heart scan is) all clear. He's hypothyroid - levels are normal - b12 was a bit low at 300 now supplementing for last 6 weeks.

We done lots of reading about dementia and Alzheimer's but what he's experiencing doesn't seem to match any of the usual presentations described.

Has anyone else experienced this? Or heard of something similar? Ir is it just a different kind of presentation?

Any thoughts before he goes to doctors again on Monday gratefully received


5 Replies

I heard of this There is a name for it but I can't remember it It is part of dementia I dont know if he under drs care but if you take him to a dr who specializes in dementia they will be able to example it to you You could try googling something like dementia mistaken identity maybe it will come up

Lori56 in reply to Lori56

It's called capgras delusion


Welcome to the community. What you describe is a possible presentation of Alzheimer's, but given your comment that your father in law can be lucid/normal for days at a time indicates that a type of fronto-temporal dementia (FTD) *might* be present - for example, dementia with lewy bodies (DLB) can have very fluid symptoms in between "normal" periods.

Also try this memory loss checklist, designed more for Alzheimer's symptoms:

All the best.


Hi Msglutenfreeuk,

It sounds as though he meets some of the criteria for dementia with Lewy bodies because he is having difficulties with speech (finding the correct word), hallucinations and delusions. And, classically, these symptoms are coming and going at random. But please understand, this is only a guess, there are several other criteria to be met for a diagnosis and only a qualified physician can make that diagnosis. We can only make a guess at best. I hope that this may help in some way and that you find a diagnosis soon. Knowing what the problem is, even if not so good, is often so much better than bewilderment of not knowing.

Thanks for all your replies, very helpful. It's definitely something that seems to 'switch on and off' rather than a gradual decline with various symptoms. We've managed to get him to agree to go to the doctors again, difficult previously as most of the time he feels fine and nothing's wrong in his opinion. I'll some more research based on your suggestions

Thanks again

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