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Halucinations in stroke victims
sandyp53 posted:
My mother, now 82 years old, had a stroke 13 years ago that left her paralyzed on her right side. She has had a very hard time adjusting to it and has been hospitalized several times for dehydration, internal bleeding, drug overdose and other things. Recently, approximately 2-3 weeks ago, she started calling in the middle of the night and insisting people were breaking into her house, playing basketball in her garage, partying in the basement and holding her hostage. We have gone to her house and found no sign of anyone. When we try to tell her that no one is breaking in or tried to break in, she gets angry with us and refuses to talk to us anymore. We took her to the Dr on Monday and he tested her urine for an UTI. We have not had the results or if she got the results, she did not tell us or remember them. The local police have been called several times and they could find no trace of anyone being there. My mother has now decided that the police caught these burglars and interrogated them till 6 AM and it should be over now. Actually, the Lt of the police dept. called my brother to make him aware of how many times the police have been called down there and not found any trace of breaking in or anyone being there. We don't know what is causing these hallucinations or what to do to help her realize they aren't happening. Any suggestions or help would be greatly appreciated.
Richard C Senelick, MD responded:
Hallucinations ( seeing or hearing things that aren't there) or delusions ( false beliefs) can occur with age and dementia. Her doctor was correct to look for an infection, since they can frequently cause confusion in the elderly. There are many other causes for increasing confusion and you may want to take your mother back to the doctor for a more complete evaluation. She may need more blood tests and even a brain scan. She sure to stress to the doctor the magnitude of the problem. Is she on any new medicines that could be contributing to the problem? If all the tests are normal and she continues with the hallucinations, there are medications that can help. Finally, it may no longer be safe for her to live alone. This is a huge problem for families, but one that we all face. Good Luck
After your stroke you may be experiencing a new normal, but remember what George Eliot said- It is never too late to be what you might have been. You still can achieve new goals.
sandyp53 replied to Richard C Senelick, MD's response:
Thank you for your advice. My mother had two trips to the ER because her blood pressure was so high. The first time, they sent her back home saying she was fine. The second time, the very next day, they admitted her due to her high blood pressure and UTI. She is in the hospital, receiving fluids and medications, and hopefully this will be the end of her strange hallucinations.
j22frosty responded:
We had a friend with similar issues. His doctor found that the hallucinations were caused by Keppra, an anti-seizure medicine. He was slowly weaned off the medicine and is fine now.

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