Progressive memory loss after alcohol induced fall in 83 year old. Cause?
My 83 year old grandmother is a bit of a heavy drinker. A few months ago she apparently become intoxicated to the point of near alcohol poisoning, and took a bad fall that she doesn't remember. We don't know if she actually lost consciousness or not, or how many hours she was laying there before she got to the phone and called for help, nor do we know if she hit her head. She remained disoriented in the hospital after she sobered up, and thought the hospital room was a "rent free apartment with no refrigerator", but the staff told us that was normal for people suffering from alcohol withdrawl (withdrawal).
She eventually become well enough to be released, but continued to have lapses in memory in the weeks that followed. We thought this was from some blood pressure medication they put her on in the hospital, so the doctor took her off of it. This caused her memory to improve, however over the past few months we have seen a noted decline in her memory to the extent that she doesn't remember some pretty big events that happened two days ago, and she has been forgetting family relations.
My mother is worried she has Alzheimers, but this memory loss started suddenly with her fall. They never did any brain scans at the hospital. Would a traumatic brain injury cause a progressive decline in memory?
Yes, a traumatic brain injury affecting the memory centers in the brain can cause lapses in memory. It can also be due to alcohol induced dementia. At 82 years it can also be dementia worsened by her fall and alcohol. Please consult her treating doctor for she will need a MRI of the brain and memory assessment.
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