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 New Binge Drinking? 
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Joined: Wed Dec 15, 2010 3:18 pm
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Post New Binge Drinking?
Has anyone had a loved one start binge drinking as a symptom of LBD?

My 70 year old father used to have a couple of beers a day when he was a young man, stopped drinking for a long time because it gave him headaches and has never, in my experience before now drunk alcohol to the point of drunkeness. Just to make sure that I wasn't in some kind of denial, I called my mother (who has known him since he was 17 and was married to him for 10 years) and she confirmed that, outside of high school dances, she had never seen him drunk.

He has begun a weird and uncharacteristic behavior of walking to the nearest liquor store, buying a bit 1.8 liter container of rum or vodka and drinking it in two days (the equivalent of 18 shots per day). His behavior changes dramatically when has has been drinking this straight alcohol and includes violent cursing at the television and making animal noises (howling, etc.). He does not get aggressive toward us.

My father does not yet have an official diagnosis, but we have him scheduled for an evaluation at the Columbia University Center for the Study of the Aging Brain next week. My partner and I brought him to live with us when, at our last visit, it was clear that he was no longer able to take care of himself.

Thank you so much for your response.


Thu Dec 16, 2010 9:59 am
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Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2009 1:46 pm
Posts: 3213
Location: WA
Post Re: New Binge Drinking?
Does he take Sinemet or other levodopa/carbidopa medication? The literature states that compulsive behavior like gambling, etc. can be a side effect.

_________________
Pat [68] married to Derek [84] for 38 years; husband dx PDD/LBD 2005, probably began 2002 or earlier; late stage and in a SNF as of January 2011. Hospitalized 11/2/2013 and discharged to home Hospice. Passed away at home on 11/9/2013.


Thu Dec 16, 2010 10:58 am
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Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 1:46 pm
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Location: SF Bay Area (Northern CA)
Post Re: New Binge Drinking?
Several things could be happening. There could be impulsive behavior brought on by a medication. There could be compulsive behavior that is not related to medication but is part of the disease. And, your father's tolerance for alcohol could have dramatically changed.

I'd suggest trying to eliminate the alcohol from the house, or watering it down to a very large extent.


Thu Dec 16, 2010 11:30 am
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Joined: Wed Dec 15, 2010 3:18 pm
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Post Re: New Binge Drinking?
@mockturtle -

Thank you for your response. No, the only medications he is on right now are propranolol and Wellbutrin. The Wellbutrin has really helped his mood and motivation, and the propranolol was prescribed for his tremors/gait problems.

L


Thu Dec 16, 2010 11:30 am
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Joined: Wed Dec 15, 2010 3:18 pm
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Post Re: New Binge Drinking?
@Robin -

Yes - we keep no alcohol in the house - and when I find that he has bought some, I go in and take it and pour it out. Which he doesn't fight me about - which is also interesting.


Thu Dec 16, 2010 11:31 am
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Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 1:46 pm
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Location: SF Bay Area (Northern CA)
Post Re: New Binge Drinking?
Propranolol is given to regulate blood pressure. I'm unclear what it has to do with gait.

I'd suggest keeping the alcohol around and just watering it down.


Thu Dec 16, 2010 11:32 am
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Joined: Wed Dec 15, 2010 3:18 pm
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Post Re: New Binge Drinking?
@robin -

My understanding is that it is given for treatment of General Tremor. That was what was prescribed by a neurologist I took him too. But that neurologist was not a specialist in any kind of dementia related assessment, so I'm looking forward to the input of the people at Columbia. Because propranolol can also worsen depression/mood disturbances.

Sigh.


Thu Dec 16, 2010 11:35 am
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Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 1:46 pm
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Location: SF Bay Area (Northern CA)
Post Re: New Binge Drinking?
rxlist.com indicates that propranolol is used for the treatment of essential tremor, not the tremor of parkinsonism. I think the tremor of ET is an intention tremor while the tremor of parkinsonism is a rest tremor.

I don't see anything about treatment of gait.


Thu Dec 16, 2010 11:48 am
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Joined: Wed Dec 15, 2010 3:18 pm
Posts: 13
Post Re: New Binge Drinking?
Thanks, Robin.

Yes, I think it's possible that "Essential Tremor" was a misdiagnosis. But, for now, my father believes it is helping. I don't see it, but not going to pick that battle at this point.


Thu Dec 16, 2010 12:16 pm
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Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 1:46 pm
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Location: SF Bay Area (Northern CA)
Post Re: New Binge Drinking?
There's also a small study (posted to the Forum) that indicated that propranolol led to lower MMSE scores and poorer memory recall.


Thu Dec 16, 2010 3:04 pm
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