Many years ago, a man was told that he was suffering from two diseases; first, Parkinson’s and some time later, Alzheimer’s disease. He was given medication to control them both. At the time that he was being pumped with tablets to regulate the diseases, first the one and then the other, in reality, he was suffering from normal pressure hydrocephalus, which is a treatable condition.
He symptoms were the following; he had trouble walking. His description ; “I felt as though my feet were glued to the ground. I fell quite often due to this problem and also experienced confusion.” There was a definite slowing of my reflexes; plus urinary urgency.
“I feel as if my father has left us,” his daughter said. “He is no longer the father I knew.” His wife’s description “My husband has reverted back to being the kid and I seem to be playing mother to him.”
His daughter was a nurse and she never gave up on him, searching for the real problem and eventually, this is what a neurologist found. Her dad’s nervous syem was floating in fluid. A normal brain has a perfect balance of the fluid entering and leaving. But his brain had stopped reabsorbing the fluid allowing pressure to build up.
This patient was one of the lucky one who made a full recovery after having a shunt placed in his head. It rerouted the fluid to another part of his body where it was absorbed, giving him a second chance at life.
His specialist thinks that far too many elderly people actually expect their health to deteriorate and accept ailments as part of their normal aging process It gave this doctor a great deal of pleasure to tell this long-suffering gentleman;
“Sorry sir, but you don’t have Parkinson’s nor Alzheimer’s … we made a mistake.”