Are tremors caused by dementia?

1 answer | Last updated: Sep 12, 2016
Puzzled & perplexed asked...

My husband was diagnosed with mixed dementia about five years ago. In the last 6 months; he sleeps the majority of the time and has started having tremors in his arms which last around 30 seconds. He is even falling asleep while standing. Nothing seems to keep him awake more than a couple of hours each day. I have tried vitamin c, d, b-12 and iron pills but nothing is giving him any energy. The neurologist thinks that it is a physical problem and the family doctor thinks that it is all caused by the dementia. Is there anything without caffeine that can boost his energy and what can be done about the tremors?

Expert Answers

Ladislav Volicer, M.D., Ph.D., is recognized as an international expert on advanced dementia care. He is a courtesy full professor at the School of Aging Studies, University of South Florida, Tampa, and visiting professor at the Third Medical Faculty, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic. Twenty-five years ago, he established one of the first dementia special care units.

The involuntary movements that you observe is possibly myoclonus, that many patients with Alzheimer's disease develop in an advanced stage. There is not a good treatment that may not cause even more sleepiness in your husband. There are couple medications that may help to keep you husband awake: methylphenidate (Ritalin) and modafinil (Provigil). You might want to discuss these medications with your neurologist or family doctor.