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DrBrain, Neurologist
Category: Neurology
Satisfied Customers: 3262
Experience:  Diplomate, American Board of Psychiatry & Neurology
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My mother will be 70 in the fall and is experiencing increasing

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My mother will be 70 in the fall and is experiencing increasing problems with constant humming. I don't think she is aware of it. I saw this posted but didn't see an answer from a neurologist. Is this some type of neurological disorder associated with her age? Would you recommend additional work-up necessarily?

DrBrain : Hi. Welcome to just answer.

thank you

DrBrain : Humming has been frequently seen in the elderly. Humming is considered a form of self soothing behavior that is known to b present in individuals with mild dementia
DrBrain : Some have history of anxiety/depression.
DrBrain : The humming is thought to help soothe this

so, in someone without a history of anxiety/depression, i should be considering the possibility of early dementia?

DrBrain : If she is having issues with memory and you are noticing issues with day to day functioning (finances, decision making, etc) then it would be good to have her evaluated.

she hadn't had noticeable problems with memory or functioning until a recent trip to england with my sister, when she did exhibit significant personality changes and some disorientation, but her functioning improved immediately when she returned home

DrBrain : Change in environment will cause patients with mild dementia to feel disoriented. The lack of proper sleep during holidays will also make this worse.

my maternal grandmother developed significant tremors with age, my sister (48) has problems with unintentional head bobbing, and my son has pointed out that I at times have unintentional movements that I would describe as "tics" as well - could the humming be similar to a neurologic condition such as tics or tremors?

DrBrain : No humming does not fall into the same category. Humming is more of self soothing behavior. Tics and tremors are more movement problems. Essential tremor can cause head bobbing. Tics can be myoclonic jerks. This is not te same thing as humming.

thank you

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