Skip to comments.Anyone know about "Charles Bonnet Syndrome"? (Vanity)
Posted on 05/21/2017 7:19:36 PM PDT by RushIsMyTeddyBear
My wonderful step-father (WW2 Vet) is experiencing delusions. He has Macular Dejeneration and Dementia. Noticed, today, he thinks people are "in the household ". Very agitated.
Talked to many "people" in the room.
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How old is he? When people are getting closer to passing they sometimes see others in the room
Plus with his dementia and diminished vision he is not processing information correctly
My mom the day she died yelled “coming mom” she was gone with in the hour
Have not heard of that syndrome.
But I read recently that “water on the brain” (hydrocephalus) can cause dementia, but may be treatable with surgery.
Highly recommend that you take him to a neurologist, preferably to a neurosurgeon, have him order an MRI and do an assessment.
Macular degeneration is a disease of the retina of the eye. Serious, but it does not cause dementia. Take him to a retina specialist, it may be treatable with laser surgery, depending on how advanced it is.
Prayers for your step father, and your family RIMTB.
“hallucinations seeing shapes, people or animals that aren’t really there “
The brain can be weird. When it loses central vision but peripheral vision is still there, it may try to ‘replace’ that missing space. It’s trying to paint continuity of what is being seen around the edges if that makes sense. Not hard if there’s only a very small degree of MD, but much harder as the central blind spot becomes larger. It helps if you explain to the person what is happening, so they don’t think they’re going crazy - their brain is just running through it’s bag of tricks to try to compensate and sometimes those tricks can involve shadows or shapes and waviness that appears to be motion.
My father experienced people in the room when he was not getting enough oxygen.
In less than 20 minute after starting oxygen, he was back to his old with it self.
UTI’s will make them bonkers.
Quite common in elderly men
The brain can be weird. When it loses central vision but peripheral vision is still there, it may try to replace that missing space.
And healthy brains do that with the blind spot we all have.
Saw the same kind of thing when my father was passing away. He was on medication that was dealing with seizures.
He’d often have conversations with...someone. i started to listen in since i was taking care of him at the time. i was in the military decades after he was, but some things and terms don’t change.
He was having conversations with friends that never made it off Omaha Beach on June 6, 1944. My father went in with the first wave, got wounded twice that day, but not serious enough to evac.
My mother would complain about it, until i told her to leave him alone, and why she should leave him alone.
He died new years day in 2004. Just never woke up that day.
A few days before he passed on, he and i had a talk about the war. It was the first he’d ever spoken of it. Every day after D-day was gravy to him. When his health deteriorated, it was not pretty. He was hooked to an oxygen tank, pissing into a bottle, using a walker, sleeping in a chair, and his social life was going out to sit on the porch.
He wanted to die. My brother later told me that he was “cheeking” his medications so that would happen faster.
i don’t know that i blame him, and i don’t know if i would do the same thing or not...
I am not a doctor, but I would also check for hearth problems, such as congestive heart failure. This would cause the brain to not get enough oxygen and cause hallucinations.
My mom had Charles Bonnet syndrome for 4 months, after her cataracts temporarily blinded her. The cataract surgery cured it, as soon as the bandages were removed.
What happens is that, without visual stimuli, the brain begins creating its own visual images. These visual illusions are different from those of typical dementia—though she did experience actual hallucinations, caused by meds that were supposed to help calm her down. (They didn’t.)
With Charles Bonnet syndrome, a person will see patterns; for instance, Mom’s vision was so bad, she thought she was seeing trees in a forest, or ripples on a lake, here in our house. The other type of visual disturbance is seeing people, usually what they call “lilliputian” (small) people. Mom would, for instance, ask me why there was a little girl in the room with us, when nobody else was there.
The big difference between Charles Bonnet syndrome and a regular hallucination is that, with Charles Bonnet syndrome, there is no interaction with what is being seen. In other words, when Mom saw a little girl, the “girl” wouldn’t speak to her or anything, because it was purely a visual image. However, when Mom was having a bad reaction to the meds, THOSE were real hallucinations; one time she thought she was piloting a boat, and kept asking me where she should dock it. When the meds wore off, those hallucinations went away, yet she would still see the “trees”, “water”, and the occasional “child”.
If your stepfather is talking to the people he sees, and they talk back, that’s NOT Charles Bonnet syndrome; that would be the dementia, or something else. If the people he sees just kind of stand there and don’t say anything, that’s Charles Bonnet syndrome. CBS is a purely visual disturbance.
It is very frightening to the patient, because they will believe what they see, over what you tell them is really happening. Dementia is going to complicate things a lot, as I’m sure you’ve observed by now. It’s going to be hard, if not impossible, to make your stepfather understand what is happening.
Charles Bonnet syndrome is not well understood, and it can last for a few weeks, to many years. My mother was very lucky, in that surgery corrected her vision, so she got over it just as soon as she could see again.
I’m sorry you are having to go through that. It’s tough. Just lost my dear mother last month and father in law in April.
Prayers up for you.
I was with my mom when she passed. She had reverted to thinking she was still with her mom, dad and brothers. I stroked her forehead as she struggled and told her that it was OK, she was going to to be with her family and her husband. She got this expression on her face so I knew she heard and understood me, and she passed shortly thereafter.
My grandmother had normal pressure hydrocephalus. Her dementia was seeing me as five different people interchangeable and she was always looking for some imaginary home. I was young in nursing school and had no idea what to do. But then took her for an MRI then a neurosurgeon and they placed a lumbo-peritoneal shunt in her lower spine draining the fluid and within 36 hours she was back to normal. The whole year and a half she had the dementia was like a dream to her and I never spoke of those times.
Charles Bonnet Syndrome is a bit different and never saw a patient with it but agree with the suggestion maybe a neurosurgeon/neurologist might be able to help?
If I don’t respond. ...don’t take it personally. Having horrible upper back pain ATM. Went to get a steroid shot and am taking muscle relaxants.
Getting an MRI, soon.
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