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The MRI ordered by his neurologist showed multiple micro hemorrhages especially in his right temporal lobe and both cerebellar lobes. He is experiencing increasing difficulty with wordfinding, comprehension and mental processing. The neurologist prescribed Aricept at our visit 6 months ago. I asked if he’d keep seeing us if we chose not to take the Aricept. I’d been following webinars about Awakening from Alzheimer’s and Regain Your Brain where specialist after specialist said that nothing the pharmaceuticals have come up with is really of any help.


Now I’m wondering if we made the best decision. What could others share from personal experience? Digestive side effects seem quite likely according to online information.

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Just to add what I have learned this year. My father passed every mini-mental test “with flying colors”.
However he was suffering from memory problems, executive function lapses, and self abuse/neglect. So the mini-mental is not the definitive test.
The physician on the geriatric psych floor told me there is no definitive study that shows that Aricept is effective.
Yet it gets prescribed anyhow. The doctor told me that it does help the family feel as though they are doing something.
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Reply to PrairieLake
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I took my husband off some meds for cholesterol—statins, etc. as he went hallucinating after only three doses & after removing he immediately came back to where he was before w/o the reaction
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Reply to Babsgod
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I'd really do a lot of research, discuss with specialists and consider the risks/benefits first. So, are they telling you that your husband has vessel disease or strokes, as opposed to Alzheimers? I'd inquire whether the medication has proven any help for those who do not have Alzheimers. I'd also ask if there are any side effects once you come off of the med.

My LO had Vascular dementia, so those types of meds were not offered. Later, it was thought that she might have mixed dementia, which is Vascular and Alzheimers, but, she was already advanced by then and I chose not to pursue those drugs, based on discussion with her doctor and everything that I read. It's a personal decision. I think some people who have AD believe it is helpful.
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Reply to Sunnygirl1
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When my mom started having significant short term memory problems after cataract surgery and was diagnosised with MCI (26 of 30), her PCP put her on Aricept telling us if might help and if Mom didn't develop any side effects it won't hurt. Mom didn't have any hemorrhages or other "white areas" in her MRI but it did show small veins that increase her cerebral small vessel disease risk. Mom has always had small veins that make starting an IV difficult so I guess it's not so strange that the veins in her brain are small too. Other than age, Mom has no other cerebral small vessel disease risk factors. Her spinal stenosis makes the mini-mental test semi-accurate, since reflex and some balance issues are from the stenosis (documented more than 4 decades ago) instead of brain function issues. In four years Mom has only digressed 2 points to 24 of 30 so maybe it's helping.
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Reply to TNtechie
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I will start out by saying not an expert. It is my understanding that Aricept is used specifically with Alzheimer's type dementia and it is thought to slow down progression for some period of time; I was told a year. My mother, and MIL is on it my but my father in law who has cognitive dysfunction, which is probably early vascular dementia was not. I don't think they really know how it works and really if it works. It is monitored by doing mini-mental exams every few months to evaluate progression. I think it is generally well tolerated by most people with little side effects so from that standpoint, it maybe could not hurt to try it. Neither of them has any side effects. It is a very cheap drug in generic form as well so not expensive. from the note here, your husband has micro hemorrhages so those have caused specific damage so I doubt Aricept would do anything to help. He is more like a patient who has has a stroke or brain trauma versus dementia. Has neuropsych testing been done; that can provide a map to the specific issues he is having and may suggest some ways to improve or adapt? Perhaps more traditional cognitive rehab would help him and provide some coping mechanisms and strategies to help manage the symptoms.
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Reply to dogparkmomma
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