Advice needed please.. Male in 60s sudden slowness

Hi All,

I am new to this so apologies if I am using it correctly. I am a bit desperate and don't know where to go.

My father in law changed dramatically about 18 months ago. He is 65 now. He has always been a fit, social, strong confident man who would, play with the kids, do all DIY around the house and lead a conversation in a social group but that has changed. About 6 months ago a mild tremor in his hand started which the Drs identified as an essential tremor. Whilst annoying didn't have any other effects and Parkinson's was ruled out by tests with the Dr.

He then seemed to have a cough shortly afterwards that would happen frequently when he ate or drank. The Dr thought it was the muscles in his throat and so gave him exercises that had little effect. Over time it has lessened but still happens.

My father in law then started to look laboured all of the time and became much slower. His eyes are glassy and tired, he struggles to maintain or follow a conversation for long and he is very quiet so struggles to make himself heard. When asked what he thought was causing this he advises he is in a lot of pain with this feet (he has arthritis). But apart from that he doesn't know. He doesn't sleep well and has actually had some sleep tests at the hospital completed but nothing abnormal was identified.

He has stopped driving as he reactions times are too slow now with this lethargy.

He has been to his GP in Spain many times and had blood tests etc. but nothing seems to be identified and he is really struggling. I assume this sudden change and not being able to now keep up with my active mother in law will also be lowering his mood.

Does anyone recognise these symptoms or are able to help here or point us in the right direction at all?

It would be much appreciated

7 Replies

  • Lots of possibilities, but the story sounds worrying. Maybe referral to a specialist is the next step

  • Thank you for responding but referral to who? The Dr cant find the reason for it and tests have been inconclusive?

  • I would probably ask to see a neurologist. The tremor alone is neurological, as could be the general slowing down in thought processes and motor activity. It certainly needs further investigations other than routine blood work and ordinary physical exam.

  • Thank you. I will look at neuro consultants.

  • There are few generalists left in the uk, but geriatricians or medicine for the elderly would be my advice.

    The possibility of dementia would be my main concern

  • A neurologist would be advisable, as well as, a geriatric primary care physician.

  • Thank you all.

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