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My dear wife has been on Namenda 10 mg for over two years and I have yet to see an any improvement. Has anyone use this drug or others and have they seen any improvements? Any information would help me make some changes ,Thanks johnnycares

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My mom just started a low does tonight. I am praying it works! She's so confused, nervous and agitated. I was told no to expect any change for at least 2 weeks. My father doesn't know what to do and I have finally found a doctor that is trying to help her stating this is early onset. My mother could not even draw a clock. It's heartrenching for me. I have no brothers or sisters
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Jeannegibbs, I may do that at some point. My mother and I have a not great relatioship, and she doesn't discuss her medical matters with me (although I am in touch with her doctors). If she sees me checking her prescriptions, she considers it a violation of her privacy. I don't live with her, so I've been assuming that she's been taking her meds as directed, but it's very possible that she isn't. If she were having any adverse reactions, I would have mentioned it already.
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Looloo, I am a big proponent of trying drugs for the various symptoms of dementia. But when there is no evidence they are helping, why keep on them? I'd suggest to the doctor that you want to try discontinuing Aricept.
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My mother's dementia has yet to be categorized as Alzheimer's, frontal lobe, or any of the other types. Based on what I've read, observed, and known about her lifelong habits, I'm guessing it's either frontal lobe, vascular, or a combination. But it could be Alzheimers', who knows? Anyway, she was given Aricept late last year, and after 3 months, her dosage was doubled. I haven't seen any changes except that her memory and cognition have gotten much worse. If the drug has actually slowed progression, I guess she'd be even worse off now? Which I don't think would be tragic at all. She needs to be in AL or memory care, and she won't go. Maybe if she were worse off, she'd be in a safer place, getting better care.
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Hi
My mom has moderate to severe Alz. She has been living with me and my husband for 9 years and I have been her caregiver. I have been working full time until December when I got laid off. I have seen a downturn with my mom in the past few months. She is saying things like where is the game. She thinks she had a game on her lap and gets up and looks for it. Similar things have happened periodically. She gets anxiety attacks when there is too much stimulation. Then sometimes she is very lucid. She needs help with daily activities and her medications. She gets very upset when I try to help her with her medication because she doesn't understand what she is taking. She is visiting my sisters now and they are seeing first hand what my mom is going through. When she gets home I am going to have to take over her medication. She will get very angry. I am considering looking for a place for my mom to live where she will get the help she needs. It is getting beyond my abilities now. I would like some feedback if anyone know if the mood swings are pretty common with this stage of Alz. Thank Yoou
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Thank you and what you say does really make good advice for me and my dear wife. And I will always give everything a chance to see how it will work. Again thank you Vatefans.
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It reallly is important to think about Lewy body vs vascular vs Alzheimer's because some meds that are typically good for one are bad for the other. BUT, even WITH a correct specific diagnosis, so you and the docs can pick the drug that has the best chance of helping, YMMV. My mom has vascular dementia and did terrible on Aricept (irritable with increased hallucinations) but was helped some with physical motor abilities though not mentally at all on Sinemet (even though one of her docs was more afraid of side effects on that.) We used both a geriatrician and a neurologist, both very good, using up to date, evidence based approaches, and it was still "experimenting" to a degree. I won't get into what happened with diabetes meds except to say ARRGH and gald we finally found something that helps a little besides just more and more insulin that left her ravenously hungry all the time. And if "just delaying progression" doesn't seem worthy, think about this - what would you give for Mom or Dad to have a couple more special days, a chance to see a grandkid graduate or get married, even a happy year or two before they can't remember events or recognize you...when you come right down to it, all any of us have are time and memories. It it almost always worth carefully trying some meds, but also esseitnal that you and the docs are willing to quit or change them if they don't help/don't work/cause side efects worse than the problem they are supposed to help with.
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If it is aricept, it never claims to make things better, just to stop things from declining as rapidly. As a nurse I get this question often.
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My mother has been on Namenda 10mg 2xday and Aricept. When Aricept was added to her meds I noticed a leveling off, but no improvement. She has been on them for 2years now. But within the last couple months her symptoms have went into overdrive. These meds really just hold off the ineviable longer. The only con I have is... I noticed that since these meds slow progression it made her more aware that something was going on in her head. She would say that something was making her crazy inside. So, it might have been meds or maybe just the dementia. But I would continue to keep your wife on it.
Johnny, please keep on the doctors don't be afraid to demand help and answers. Ask lots of questions. If you feel your not getting results, take her to another doctor. Does your wife see a geriatric psych? I found that very useful with my mom. The Geriatric psych will help with depression, anxiety, and agitation she might experience. From my experience they understand how it all works more so than a regular dr. Also, a Neurologist will help with proper MRIs and CTS of the brain. I however, not yet found a good one in my area.
Try to play simple games or flash cards to stimulate her mind but stop if she gets upset cause she can't do it. My mom loves to color.
One last note to mention I was told by geriatric psych. that namenda can cause restlessness in some. If your wife is restless at night after taking Namenda try giving it to her at supper or at least 4hrs before bedtime. I noticed that helped a little with my mothers restlessness. So mom takes one in morning and one at supper.
I am sure your like the rest of us caregivers. You want to do everything in your power to make them better. Just hang in there and enjoy your wife, remember every moment that makes you laugh. Laughter is the best medicine for caregivers.
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No I did not think that it would, because when someone has had a stroke ,not much is expected. What I have a problem with is the lack of follow up from the doctor who has not been forthcoming on the testing and other tests. I just know that I am going to be grateful for the time that I will have with her from now on. Thank you,Althne
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None of the medications for Alzheimer's Disease reverse the disease-- there are no medications available that do that. What Namenda and other medications for Alzheimer's do is slow the progression of the disease. Generally speaking, if the medication is stopped for 2 weeks the disease will progress to the point the disease would have been as if the medication had not been started. I'm sorry that when this medication was started you had the understanding that this would reverse the illness.
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JOHNNY:

Maybe the drug is designed to prevent further memory loss. The fact she's able to remember events and retain information can be construed as improvement by many. What I'd do is complement the current therapy with daily memory exercises to keep her sharp. Say, for example, "I can't remember what we had for lunch yesterday. ... Ma, do you know?" or "What's the name of that doctor we saw yesterday. ... It's on the tip of my tongue."

Keep her thinking, but don't overdo it with the exercises. Stressing her out will make her shut down, and you won't be able to gauge whether she's actually making progress or not.

Many blessings my friend.

-- ED
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My wife is not to bad so far but i know that I will except some help when ever I need it. Thank all for responding to my call for help.
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wuvsicecream,Thank u ,it sure sound like u were on the ball with your mom. I am learning at the very lease some very helpful tricks from all the people on this site.
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johnnycares...Sorry about your Wife's condition and Welcome here to the new world of people who understand and really care. For the rest of you, I am so impressed with everyone here we have gotten such a life learning experience, that is individual, but all in the same boat. My Mom's taking Aricept and Namenda. Started taking it about 2 1/2 years ago. I figured out at first diagnosis and meds she was stage2 going into stage3. In conjuction with seroquel(psycosis med) which is not recommended due to other health factors when taken for elderly dementia patients. Mom is absolutely impossible without the seroquel. She's like a two yr old "everthing is mine" and won't bath or conform at all. The thing with the Aricept and Namenda is it slows it down but if not taken properly and routinely it dosen't work well and yes if decreased it will reverse quickly. Mom's doses were very gradually increased. There is one thing I must bring to attention, when Mom was in my care she was ditching her pills, I would swear to it that I saw her swallow them, I would find them in cleverly hidden places. I have posted to the others that I started calling her Houdini. She was on the ball when it came to fakeing me out!!! I still am shocked she's so smart. Forgetful... YES...but smart, her first day at NH I warned the nurse about this, she agreed to pay close attention, then the nurse told me Mom faked her out, she pretended to swallow them but they were still in her hand and tried to hide them. I have heard of others doing this too, flushing them, hiding in tissues,etc. It is important to write down behavior and communicate to DR. and proper diagnosis is key as well. Wish you well and don't forget to take care of yourself!!!
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You are more than welcome. It would be helpful if you would fill out your profile so we would know if you have family support, any kind of in home help, and what your wife's health and behavior issues are.. we are not being nosy, just the more info we have the more help you will get. Thanks for finding us, we need you too. hugs across the miles
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ladeeda, Thank you for good clear advice,and I know that I will go thru some hell sooner or later hopefully later,again thanks and I will stay on here and read some sound and advice from people like you and others who are in this game call life. johnnycares
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johnny, it is very important that you have a support system. There will be things that come up that you will have questions about. And most of us on this sight have a lot of experience between us.
I take care of Ruth, 93, who has late stage Alz. She is currently in the NH getting her meds adjusted as she was becoming very violent. Every case is different, that is the crazy making part of Alz. And if I did not have the people on this sight, I would be crazier than I normally am.
You are not the only man on this sight, so please participate and let us help. You have valuable experience also, that may help someone else. As I said it is very important to have support, whether it be online, a local Alz, group, anything that will educate you and support you...hope you get some answers that help you
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Yes I guess it is a judgement call however we look at it?,Thank you,naheaton
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My mother-in-law's doctor told us that Namenda usually stops working after two years, so we originally thought we'd just take her off of it. However, when talking to the health gal at the asst. living where my m-i-l lives, she said not to. Her reasoning was, if it's helping holding off the progression of the Alz, then it's worth taking it. She said that if we took her off of it and saw a downturn, then there would be no going back to her previous mental state if we put her back on it again. So with that in mind, I told them to tell her doctor that we're going to keep her on Namenda until we see a downturn and then we'll know it's not working anymore.
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That was when my wife started to in 07,and it doesn’t help at all. I guess we just have to deal with it the best we can,54 ,may he bless all of us who, spouses have this horrible disease
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My husband was diagnosed in 07 with AD and has been on all the drugs, drink and patch. The doctor finally took him off all of it since it was not helping at all. He doesnt take anything now and I can see no difference in him at all. Just a very sad disease. God Bless you.
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Namendia is a good medication. But alot of this really depends on what type of dementia your wife has. You are really able to figure that out since you two are together, which is just great.

In the US everything seems to be all about Alzheimer's but there are other type of dementia and each type seem to respond to different medications and therapies.
It could be your bride doesn't have Alz.

My mom was on Aricept which made no real change except in her pocketbook. She was having hallucinations (seeing animals) and other visual disturbances (like patterns on the walls and floors) that would occur every once in a while usually months apart. And she has a shuffling walk - she can't pick up her feet when she walks but she can walk and stand and move about. Then she would have a very severe case of paranoia - like calling a nephew to take her to the bank to get all her money out because someone was taking over her identity - but at the same time she knew current events. Turns out she has Lewy Body Dementia so for her the Exelon patch works - she is more lucid and perkier. Now she is not getting better but she is not going backwards as much and when she does have an episode it is much much milder.

One thing that is often done is a combo of Namenda and Aricpet for mid stage Alz. If she does have Alz., she may be at the point that she needs another level of medication. If she isn't being seen by a gerontologist, then perhaps you could find one and have her go for a full evaluation. It will be quite different than what a GP or family doctor would do. But they can really figure out where she is on the cognitive skills line and also when she goes back in another 6 months they can figure out how much loss there is in certain thought processes.

Good luck.
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Johnny, first of all there are no meds available at this time to bring about improvement. There are the meds such as your wife is taking that will slow down the progression. We are so happy you joined us here. There are resources to help educate you on Alz, to help you deal with the changes your wife is going thru and to help you with the stress of caregiving.
Please feel free to talk about what is going on with YOU, as the stress of taking care of someone with Alz. is beyond words. This sight is for venting, getting support, without any shame or judgement and that is hard to find. So please feel free to say what is on your mind, ask for help, and make new friends. We are all in this together and you will find many stories you can relate to that help you to not feel so alone.
A lot of post on the "grossed out" thread, read some of the posts, get to know us, check out profiles and make contacts...This is the hardest job you will ever do, and please know you are not alone... hope we hear from you again. Hugs across the miles...
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