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 Visual Illusions 
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Joined: Sun Oct 04, 2009 10:18 am
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Location: Washington State
Post Visual Illusions
I was struck today by how much my LO's visual illusions affect her quality of life. She has hallucinations (not so many now), lots of delusions, and frequent illusions where she sees something but doesn't interpret it the way it really is. For example:

The first time I noticed an illusion, I was sitting across the table from her with my head resting on my hand. The cuff of my white shirt was near my face. My LO said that she saw a white cupcake on my nose!

More recently she has been complaining that there is a woman in her bed every night and she wants her to get out of bed because there isn't room. At first, I thought this was complete hallucination. And the matter is complicated because she lives in an ALF where the doors are open and sometimes there really is a woman in her bed. But in this case, she pointed to the "bed cane" that she sees...an attachment to help her get in and out of bed. Much easier to remove the bed cane than a woman.

Also, if I leave my backpack or a jacket or anything on her bed she thinks it is a cat curled up on her bed. Not so bad, really. I don't correct her.

Do any of your LO's have visual illusions? What do they see?


Tue Apr 27, 2010 11:12 pm
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Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2009 1:46 pm
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My husband has had illusions for at least two years. He sees things straight that are crooked and vice versa. He once thought the parked car was moving when it wasn't. He sees patterns in relief that are not and perceives the objects in the pattern as real objects. He sees puddles of water on the floor. There are many other instances where he sees an object quite differently than it is. Because he doesn't usually describe things, I have no way of knowing, but I daresay probably most of what he sees is distorted. Maybe that's why he doesn't recognize me as his wife.


Tue Apr 27, 2010 11:55 pm
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A common one I hear about is mistaking something like a pen, a thread, or a stick (if outside) for a snake.


Wed Apr 28, 2010 2:01 am
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I think the puddle of water is very common, I have heard many LBD caregivers mention it.

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Irene Selak


Wed Apr 28, 2010 8:36 am
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I wonder if anyone has considered ocular migraines as a reason for this? About 8 years ago I started having ocular migraines (which I'd never heard of prior to the first one I experienced). If I take care of myself while one of these is happening, I don't get the headache part of the migraine. But, my vision gets very distorted, I "see" things, even when I close my eyes. In fact, sometimes the "lights" are brighter when my eyes are closed and I actually feel pain in my eyes and have to open them and be in a dark room. Migraine is now believed to be a seizure disorder, or at least that's what I've been told. Perhaps some explanation for the illusions might be migraine? Thank goodness I know that what I am "seeing" isn't there and it is usually easy for me to have them stop after a short time! The brain is SO complicated! Lynn


Wed Apr 28, 2010 9:40 am
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Lynn,
I could go along with this to an extent as many yrs before Jim ever showed signs of LBD he suffered with horrible headaches and was checked for everything under the sun and never really had a conclusive answer and if you asked me there is probably when the LBD started , he was never the same after the start of the headaches but many of his hallucinations were more than seeing things, he heard things like the door bell ringing during the night and kids running through the yard and he also had many taste hallucinations.

Now I have a daughter who is epileptic and she suffers with horrible migrains which I believe are called cluster one's and has had them since a child and she is 37 now and I know when she has a bad migrain she see's brights colors when she closes her eyes..

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Irene Selak


Wed Apr 28, 2010 12:42 pm
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Illusions, delusions and hallucinations are all different but all are common in LBD. Maybe the visuo-spatial problems are a type of illusion. I know my husband had those, as well as distortions in his sense of smell, much earlier than the other symptoms. MUCH earlier, in fact.


Wed Apr 28, 2010 12:48 pm
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Irene - those are really interesting observations, in retrospect. It does sound like LBD symptoms when those migraines started.....
I wonder if there is any association between migraines and developing dementia later? My dad had migraines from at least when I was a little kid, my sister and I have had them since we were kids, and one of my sons has since he was about 13. As far as I know, I'm the only one in my family who sees all these weird things, like my world cut up into prisms, the center of a page of text becoming a grey cloud, the large squiggling red, yellow and black snakes and other weird brightly colored lights. I hope this is not a harbinger of things to come.... Lynn


Wed Apr 28, 2010 4:24 pm
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My migraine auras are a lot like yours, Lynn. Especially the gray cloud in the middle of my visual field and the squiggly lights. Sometimes, when I first wake up with a migraine, I'll see geometric patterns. I don't think there is any correlation between migraines and dementia, though. Quite a few well-known people had a history of migraines and didn't develop dementia. My husband, who does have dementia, never had a migraine.


Wed Apr 28, 2010 4:38 pm
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Lynn,
Keep in mind my husband's were never officially named other than tension headaches but I am talking about headaches that would actually send him to bed and last days, now my daughters were DX'ed early on as Cluster Migrains but honestly I have always felt that was the start of all my husbands health issues, I know being in the spouse support group for yrs now it is a subject that has come up many times, but there is no true connection that I am aware of , Maybe Robin will chime in if she has ever heard of anything with LBD connected to Headaches.

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Irene Selak


Wed Apr 28, 2010 4:43 pm
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I could be wrong, but I think migraines are basically vascular in origin, whereas most dementias are neural.


Wed Apr 28, 2010 5:02 pm
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Pat - you and several others are educated in the medical field, and I am not, so hopefully this won't sound stupid! If migraine is a seizure disorder (and for the last 10 years or so that's what drs. have told me) then isn't that neural rather than vascular?
I have thought about doing a series of paintings called "Migraine Images" or something like that. I have seen some truly beautiful and sometimes startling images! Sounds like you and I experience very similar visual images. Interesting, huh?
Well, that would be good news for the rest of my family if there doesn't seem to be a correlation between migraine and dementia. Lynn


Wed Apr 28, 2010 5:48 pm
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Lynn, I don't believe most migraines are a seizure disorder. Some migraines are related to seizures, but not most.


Wed Apr 28, 2010 6:04 pm
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Like Pat & Lynn, I also have the same type pf migraines. Usually come on anytime, have a lot of geometric designs, last about a half an hour and no headache. They start in the central vision and spiral outward - getting larger and larger till the designs disappear temporally. Mine are in black & white, Lynn.

I don't think hubby has ever even had a headache!

One of the neurologists Bill was seeing mentioned that they do not know what causes migraines.

Karen


Wed Apr 28, 2010 9:34 pm
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My images are all in color, just like my dreams. I dream every night and, to my knowledge, have never dreamed in black and white, even though I've read that most people dream mostly in black and white! Wonder what this means?


Wed Apr 28, 2010 9:55 pm
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