Follow
Share
This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
My experience: my mom had mild dementia when Namenda and Aricept cocktail prescribed. She was on for a couple months and kept complaining she felt fuzzy and didn't like it. We kept it up but I saw no change other than her being more lethargic. She finally refused to take anymore so went off. After about 3 months she was back to herself and memory was unchanged. Her dementia has progressed certainly over the last few yrs....but I'm not sure the memory meds would've made a significant improvement.

FIL: he took both, one in a patch. My MIL was insistent that he keep taking. I believe she had false hopes. He continued to his death. We never saw any difference from before taking. He was already increasingly un engaged with liife, reading, tv, conversation. Both my husband and I thought it a waste and unnecessary with all the other meds he was on which probably had memory side affects and therefore off set any benefits of Namenda or Aricept.

Weigh the other meds being given and stage extent of memory loss and age before giving. Drs will prescribe but I think it gives false hope of slowed progression.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Mommagulley23, if the Namenda doesn't seem to make any difference it would make sense to talk to her doctor about discontinuing it. These drugs may be worth trying, but not taking indefinitely if they aren't helping. Dementia does get worse. Many persons with dementia do go through a paranoid period. I doubt that has anything to do with the drug.

Sunnygirl1, don't we all wish the current drugs were more effective! Alas, they don't quite live up to their expectations. They do help some persons, though, and that may make them worth trying. For example, Aricept was very helpful for my husband and continued to be for almost ten years. (We found out quickly when we discontinued it on hospice -- and put him right back on it.) But he had LBD, not ALZ. And he was an exception. It certainly is not that helpful for everyone that takes it. If your loved one is relatively content, why indeed would you want to try a drug?
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

That's what I want to know Mommagulley. I've never seen anything from anyone who really advocates for the Alzheimers meds. Even doctors don't seem to have much confidence in it. With such dismal reports, why would I want to risk having my loved one take it when she is relatively content. Don't they also have potential side effects? And, I've read that some you can't just stop taking them because you get worse quickly when you do that.....it's quite confusing to me. I wish there was better news about these meds.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I was wondering the same thing! My Mom has been taking Nameda for about three months now. We cannot see any difference in her at all, if anything I think she has gotten worse. She seems to be getting paranoid easier as well.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Thank you, MsMadge!
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Jeanne
You always give such thoughtful articulate responses

Thank you and happy thanksgiving
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

I've had another memory about this. Depending on the kind of dementia (that is, the nature of the damage in the brain) there may be some non-drug therapies that can help.

My husband's neurologist was (and still is!) an internationally respected researcher with expertise in Lewy Body Dementia (including Parkinson's Disease with Dementia). Because LBD does not involve as much death of brain cells as some other kinds of dementia his theory was that a person with mild to moderate LBD could still develop new pathways in the brain (which can take over some of the functions of the damaged ones). He strongly encouraged new experiences because this is what builds new pathways. Some of the new experiences my husband had included a train trip in a sleeper car, enjoying two national parks for the first time, a cruise, day trips to new places, museum visits (a science museum geared to children was perfect) and a new board game we played together. This researcher also felt that physical activity slowed the progress of LBD. My husband joined a senior bowling league and golfed with a program sponsored by a rehab center. He did exercises provided by a physical therapist.

All those new experiences would probably be detrimental to persons with some kinds of dementia, who really need predictable routines. But they suited us just fine. My husband had a ten-year journey with Dementia with Lewy Bodies and he was pretty much at the mild to moderate level the entire time.

These activities definitely did not cure his dementia. He died of it. An autopsy revealed the damaged proteins quite profuse and distributed throughout his brain. But MAYBE the new experiences and the exercise helped contribute to his well-being while the dementia progressed. He was also on a lot of drugs for some of the symptoms.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

There is no medication available to restore memory or to slow the progress of dementia. It was hoped that the first generation of dementia drugs would slow the progress, but, alas, they don't. Some of them are helpful in other ways for some people. I would not discourage trying a drug if a doctor suggests it. Just don't expect memory improvement.

Other conditions can make the dementia symptoms worse. Treating those conditions and restore the patient to his or her former baseline. For example, my mother's memory problems and other dementia symptoms became MUCH worse when she had a uti; when that was treated she returned to how she had been before the infection. The same was true for my husband when he had respiratory illnesses. Often the first clue was that his dementia symptoms got worse. Treat the illness, he got better.

If depression accompanies dementia, treating it may lighten some of the dementia symptoms.

So it isn't quite true that nothing can be done. But there are no medications that specifically target the kind of memory loss that is part of dementia.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

I have to say that the medications that are available now will not slow the progression of Alzheimer's. They may help some people with the cognitive symptoms. Some such as Aricept can be helpful during the early stages. Namemda may help during the mid to late stages. Some people are not helped at all by these medications, but they may be worth a try. At the present time nothing can slow or reverse Alzheimer's, but there is hope on the horizon with some medications that are being tested. The medications are aimed at breaking down the plaques in the brain.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

There is no product on the market that restores memory. There are meds that will slow down Alzheimers, but it does not reverse the damage.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.