Man, 66, diagnosed with dementia after noticing trouble with vision

Dementia is a complex and multifaceted condition that can compromise the human body in a number of ways. The most reliable signs of neurodegenerative disease are memory loss and confusion, but brain damage has been known to produce physical symptoms too. In one man’s case, a sudden loss of vision while playing golf was among his first symptoms of rapidly progressive dementia.

Some researchers believe that hemianopia results from damage to the regions of the brain that is composed of Lewy Bodies dementia.

According to the Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, hemianopia is where there is “a loss of one-half of your visual field”.

The condition is “caused by damage to the brain, for example, by a stroke trauma or tumours,” explains the health body.

It is widely understood that the extent of the visual loss will vary depending on the area of the brain that’s affected by dementia.

The Journal of Dementia and Neuro-Cognitive Disorders in 2017 reported the case of a 61-year-old female patient who was diagnosed with hemianopia.

The patient had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s dementia and initially presented to her doctor with signs of memory disturbance and word drinking difficulty.

It was only two years after the onset of her symptoms that the woman complained of not being able to detect objects on her right side.

After careful investigation, the doctors concluded that the woman had a case of an atypical variant of Alzheimer’s disease.

In 2013, similar reports emerged of a 66-year-old man who first noticed trouble with his right peripheral vision doctors while playing golf.

He also complained of more trouble with light-to-dark adaptation and reading, noted the medical news platform Healio.

The following month, the patient had progressive problems with word finding and memory and was prompted to seek emergency care when he could not compute a simple arithmetic problem.

At this point in the time the patient was able to perform simple daily tasks but was unable to drive or shave, which he put down to his visual disturbances.

Further exams revealed the patients appear to have visual field loss on the right as well as the left eye.

These abnormalities rapidly worsened over the course of several days and he became minimally verbal, and eventually led to a diagnosis of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.

The condition is a rare and fatal disease characterised by “rapidly progressive dementia […], ataxia and personality changes”, says Healio.

The visual disturbances described above were first reported in Alzheimer’s patients in 1988, but the condition remains rare.

In Alzheimer’s, damage to the posterior cortex is common and is commonly referred to as a “variant of Alzheimer’s dementia,” according to the Journal of Dementia and Neuro-Cognitive Disorders.

It is damage to this part of the brain that is thought to be responsible for the loss of vision.

Approximately 70 percent of the injuries that lead to hemianopia, however, result from obstruction of blood supply to the brain.

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