What is Senile Purpura?
Senile purpura (also known as senility) is a group of diseases characterized by progressive loss of mental acuity and memory. These are usually caused by environmental factors such as viral infections or other causes. There are several types of senile purpura. Some have no symptoms while others may cause mild to severe cognitive impairment. Common signs include confusion, dementia, poor judgment, disorientation and forgetfulness.
The disease is generally diagnosed based on clinical findings alone. However there are some tests which can aid in diagnosing the disease. A blood test can determine if the patient has antibodies against a certain protein or antibody to another protein present in their body. Other tests such as brain MRI scan can show changes in the structure of the brain due to age related degenerative processes and Alzheimer’s Disease.
Symptoms of Senile Purpura:
Confusion and memory problems. The most common symptom is memory loss. Patients may not remember events from their past or even things they did not do. They may forget names, places, dates and times. They may also lose track of time or become confused when trying to recall details of the day before.
These patients often feel confused and frustrated with themselves as well as others around them. Confusion and disorientation are also symptoms of the disease. Inability to make rational or intelligent decisions. The patients may have poor judgment, lack of understanding and reasoning. They may have trouble following directions and carrying out tasks. Disorientation of time, place and person are also common. This is caused by the inability to focus on and remember details of things. Language problems are also present in some patients. They may use simpler words or speak in a childish manner.
Other symptoms include depressed mood, mood swings, anxiety and apathy. These may indicate the presence of other illnesses and you should seek medical advice if you experience them.
Treatments for Senile Purpura:
The diagnosis of senile purpura can be confirmed through various tests. A complete medical history, physical examination and neurological tests can help identify other medical problems that may be causing the symptoms. Blood tests can also determine the presence of the disease or other medical conditions.
These tests may not be enough to make a final diagnosis. In such cases your physician may use imaging techniques such as computerized tomography (CT) scans or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans to get more detailed images of your brain. These can show large brain tumors, strokes, loss of brain tissue and other important information.
Currently there is no cure for senile purpura. Treatment is aimed at helping you manage the condition by making you more comfortable and addressing issues related to the disease. Anti-dementia drugs such as Aricept (donepezil) and Ebixa (memantine) may help improve memory and other thinking abilities. Cholinesterase inhibitors should not be given to patients with severe ulcer disease or severe liver or kidney disease. Certain medicines may also be used to treat symptoms related to depression, anxiety and poor sleep.
Difficulty performing daily activities are a common problem for people with senile purpura. Arranging for in-home help such as visiting nurses or caregiving agencies can make things easier for you or your loved ones.
Sources & references used in this article:
Senile purpura by RJ Feinstein, KM Halprin, NS Penneys… – Archives of …, 1973 – jamanetwork.com
Zinc deficiency in senile purpura. by NY Haboubi, NA Haboubi, OH Gyde… – Journal of clinical …, 1985 – jcp.bmj.com
ACTH-secreting medullary carcinoma of the thyroid presenting as severe idiopathic osteoporosis and senile purpura: Report of a case and review of the literature by EM ROSENBERG, TJ HAHN, DN ORTH… – The Journal of …, 1978 – academic.oup.com