eldon Asked December 2010

I'm on Namenda. Will it really help?

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EXPERT Carol Bradley Bursack Dec 2010
Namenda helps many people. It's sometimes used in conjunction with Aricept or another drug. These drugs are meant to put off the symptoms of AD for a time, or at least slow them down. They don't work for everyone, but they do seem to help many. You and your doctor need to work together.

Your wife will likely be able to care for you for awhile, but there may be a time when she will need outside help, through in-home care or assisted living. The sooner you two, together, plan out different scenarios, the better. That will help you both in the future. Be sure to have your health care directive and Power Of Attorney done, so she can give you the help you need without a lot of legal problems.
Good luck with this. I know it's tough.
Carol
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EXPERT Deanna Lueckenotte Dec 2010
I can not agree more with all the advice and knowledge already received. Keep the communication lines open with your wife about what your wishes are for your future. Together you can shop for services you may or may not need in the future. You can help your wife now by talking and planning. It is not easy by any means. I wish you strength, courage and happiness! Thoughts and prayers sent.
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SharonB Dec 2010
My mother has Alzheimer's disease and she was taking Namenda. It did help her but it only slows the progression of the disease. I agree Carol above with the legal planning. I would suggest sitting down with an elder care attorney ASAP. Baylor College of Medicine in Houston has a wealth of information on their website regarding new drugs and research for Alzheimer's disease: http://www.bcm.edu/neurology/news_events/admdc.html
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jhall1 Dec 2010
As a geriatric nurse and having administrated this medication many times. I prefer Namenda over Aricept though some doctors give both. I also echo the advice given above. I know you are extremely concerned about your future and the possible burden placed upon your wife. Your concern says you are a wonderful, caring, and compassionate gentleman. I'm sure you have many friends and people love and care about you. Don't let your diagnosis consume your thoughts. You still have a lot to offer, enjoy every day and do things you enjoy. Making those memories will be a precious gift to your loved ones. Many thoughts and prayers.
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DonnaG Dec 2010
I would echo the advice you've been given and add encouragement for you to say now what is in your heart to your wife and loved ones(good advice for any of us actually). There is much research going on and already are options to help slow progression of this illness, so hang on to your hope. It is not unfounded. Take care.
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Helensw Dec 2010
Make sure you see a Neurologist who is familiar with your condition. Research shows that Aricept and Excelon (another similar drug) PLUS Namenda (a different chemical ) both help to slow down the progression of the disease. See more than one doctor for an opinion. PLEASE. Namenda and Aricept should certainly be considered taken together as soon as a diagnosis is made to give the brain what it needs and slow down deterioration. Also, the brain has plasticity which means no matter what age you may be, you can create new brain cells. Start doing excercizes on the computer that stimulate your brain. There are lots of them.Get physical exercize. Try and learn an instrument, or study a new language. Do what you can to be proactive. You still have lots of living and new challenges. Just see this as one of them. If you lose some brain cells with this disease, you can make new ones all the time..
Best regards.
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Vernon Dec 2010
Eldon - I loved your words regarding Heaven on your Profile. Good for you! Not all that many people have the certain comfort in the sure future you've expressed. Again... good for you!!!

I would encourage you to immediately make a series of notes of events, places and people throughout your entire history. Then, get a tape recorder or set up a video camera and go into detail as you describe what you saw, experienced and loved. Have someone splice the clips together and add your favorite music. As is often the case, when, as now, you seek to become comforted... you'll have also become a great comfort toward others.

Lastly, you may wish to investigate Dr. David Perlmutter's studies about Alzheimer's Disease. I put my Mom on one of his powder concoctions and saw an immediate an decisively positive change in her. She had been 'Stair-Stepping' downward on her decline with Alzheimers. The Stair-Stepping virtually stopped, though a slow decline continued. For Mom, if was for a few years quite a God-send. Something for you to investigate.

Good luck to you.

V
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hapfra Dec 2010
Eldon: I think you need to speak with your neurologist about Namenda-Keep in mind, there is no cure for AD-you can slow down the progression with certain meds.
Your wife perhaps should contact her local chapter of the Alzheimer's Association-as they are a great source of support, and information- I have seen this-up close, and in person, and YES it does help.
Best to you and your family,
Hap
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Silverpop Jan 2011
I am someone who believes less is more so I wouldn't be qualified to answer this question.
Happy New Year.
James in South Austin
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My mom has been on Namenda for four years and she has not gotten worse from the disease of dementia. She is holding her own. I still have to have caregivers come and help me though with her. Don't get me wrong the dementia has affected her through the years but with her own Namenda her mind seems to not change as fast. I call this drug the miracle drug for my mom...
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