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A 38-year-old member asked:

My mother has dementia she has frequent urianary tract infections why is her dementia worse during utis?

3 doctor answers12 doctors weighed in
Dr. Steven Reidbord
Psychiatry 36 years experience
Infection impairs: You've made an important observation: medical issues can affect cognition (thinking), especially in someone who is already vulnerable. Uti is a frequent cause of altered mental status in the elderly. Any fever-causing infection carries this risk, it's just that UTI is a common example, especially in the presence of a urinary catheter.
Dr. Benjamin Lessig
Geriatrics 25 years experience
See below: The level of immune system is decreased over the aging process, especially much worsening for dementia individuals. They cannot communicate UTI symptoms to caregivers/physicians. I would tell caregivers to encourage more fluids, including cranberry juice and extra care after going to bathroom. Also check with gyn for possible atopic vagnitis (dryness of vagina) which cause frequent uti.
Dr. Charlene Sojico
Pediatrics 41 years experience
I think it is atrophic vaginitis instead of atopic
Apr 1, 2012
Dr. Susan Uhrich
Psychiatry 36 years experience
Most infections: Cause a worsening of dementia symptoms, including uti's. But any serious infection can cause confusion in any patient, regardless of age. We believe that this is related to how much of a reserve of strength/memory the person has, but we actually don't know.

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Last updated Mar 22, 2020

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