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Question
Posted by: Susan | 2014/09/24

Is there a relation between Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Alzheimer's Disease

My 76 year old uncle has been suffering from severe GAD for 5 years. His whole personality changed. Previously being a very active person, he became immobilized, does not want to leave his home, and does not want his wife to leave him alone at home. He was treated by his GP without success. I suspect that his condition was not taken seriously and that he did not receive proper treatment early enough. Unfortunately he was discouraged by "professionals" to seek psychiatric help. Last year December he agreed to be admitted to a psychiatric hospital. He did not respond to treatment at all. In fact his anxiety worsened. The psychiatrist did several tests including a brain scan and diagnosed early stage AD. He does not yet show any symptoms of memory loss. Two months ago he had a massive heart attack and sustained severe damage to the left ventricle of his heart. The cardiologists stopped all medication except those for his heart condition. He said that my uncle's physical health is so bad that all other illnesses are irrelevant. His GAD is now further aggravated due his poor physical state and the diagnosis of AD. He does a memory check every morning when he wakes up to make sure that he did not forget any names of family members and friends. I would like to know whether the GAD could have been an underlying symptom of AD and could this be the reason why he did not respond to treatment. I am aware that AD sufferers can develop anxiety because of the fear of their illness, but he suffered from GAD for 5 years before he was diagnosed with AD. Could you please clarify the relation between GAD and AD if any.

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