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Date of last update: 10/04/2017.

Forum Name: Neurology Topics

Question: Does dementia show up with protein levels in spinal fluid?

 leeanne - Mon Dec 24, 2007 4:56 pm

Hi. I am a 36 year old female. I am currently seeing a Neurologist and have been out of work since May. I quit my job due to heavy fatigue. He has ruled out several things with me. However, I had below normal levels on my nerve conduction tests. He sees how tired my eyes are and he said I have 4 to 5 grade muscle weakness at my first visit, and I've explained to him I have extreme problems thinking, and basically it's only getting worse. I've lived here my whole life, but I can't remember which roads take you where in my town. It's very hard on me, because I have a daughter and we have moved back in with my parents. My MRI was o.k. At my last visit he did a Lumbar Puncture and is testing for M.S. and checking the protein levels for Dementia.

I guess my question is, if I definitely have a Dementia problem, will it show-up with the protein levels in my spinal fluid? I need all the answers I can get!
 Debbie Miller, RN - Wed Dec 26, 2007 3:13 pm

User avatar Testing for this disorder is usually done as part of the whole picture. The doctor rules out certain conditions that might cause such memory loss but which may be curable such as infection, vitamin deficiency, anemia, blood glucose problems, electroyte imbalance, drug toxicity, thyroid function and even genetic predisposition to Alzheimer's (effective in some cases but not all).

I'm sure your doctor has explained that there is no single definitive test for dementia. Sometimes scans or brainwave testing is used but I am not familiar with spinal fluid analysis for a basic diagnosis of dementia, though it might be helpful to determine other factors that could be causing these symptoms. It may be helpful in deciding about Alzheimer's disease as opposed to other types of dementia. Many disorders mimic each other and it is a matter of ruling out one, then another condition in hopes of finding the correct diagnosis. Sometimes a spinal fluid reduction is done if the patient is found to have pressure is the cause for temporary memory loss.

Best wishes for your health.

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