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Parkinson's Disease

Could this be dementia ?

03/10/1999

Question:

I have PD and have had a noticible short term memory loss. Today while I was driving home on a familiar road , one I use every day , I suddenly didn't know where I was . I didn't recognise where I was ( I was driving through the town I live in ) This only lasted about one minute but it shook me up a bit . Should I be concerned ? This issn't how dementia starts is it ?

Answer:

With a one time episode, I would not be too alarmed. Such things happen to me every day -- I blame them on absentmindedness. Seriously though, PD is not often associated with the kind of florid dementia one sees in Alzheimer's disease. Mild difficulties with memory or visuospatial orientation are more common. Another cause of short term disorientation is a seizure disorder. If you continue to have such spells you should speak to your neurologist and posssibly get an EEG (electroencephalogram) done.

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Response by:

Arif Dalvi, MD
Assistant Professor
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati