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Alzheimer's Disease & Dementia Message Board
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Old 02-23-2007, 06:41 PM   #1
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Any foods/vitamins that can help with Dementia?

My dad has been having memory problems for a while, and it finally came to a head about a week ago when he was officially diagnosed with having dementia. It's been a very, very rapid decline considering this point last year he was at least 80% better then where he is now. He's currently in the hospital still, and we're trying to decide if we want to send him to a rehab facility to be admitted into the alzheimers ward to try to help improve his memory, or if we want to bring him home and just deal with it ourselves.

So, my question is are there any foods/vitamins/anything that can slow down the process or at least improve his memory at least a little bit? It's a ridiculous pain that I'm dealing with seeing him like this, and ANY little thing to help would be greatly appreciated!

 
Old 02-24-2007, 04:22 AM   #2
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Re: Any foods/vitamins that can help with Dementia?

Dear Katy,

I know of nothing that helps, but it wouldn't hurt to give him a multivitamin pill to ward off any deficiencies; this is especially important as the person stops eating properly.

Otherwise it is my opinion that an Alzheimer Unit is better than home care.

Sorry this is happening to you. It is such a devastating illness.

Martha

 
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Old 02-24-2007, 06:53 AM   #3
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Re: Any foods/vitamins that can help with Dementia?

Katy,

As Martha said, I'm sorry that you have to be here. This is a difficult disease to deal with, and painful for us as we watch our loved one change so drastically.

I don't know of any vitamins, etc., that help.

If they are early stage, I believe Aricept (and others like that) keep them in a "holding stage" for a couple years or so. Our family doctor didn't recommend it for my mom because she was too far advanced. Yet, the home where she stays requests it because she says it keeps the brain from "misfiring"....so to speak.

So my Mom takes it every day, though I don't really know if it has any affect.

Like Martha, I don't recommend keeping them at home, (I tried it and couldn't do it) but guess that is a personal choice.

Come here often. We help all that we can. And remember to take care of yourself, too!
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Old 02-24-2007, 10:41 AM   #4
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Re: Any foods/vitamins that can help with Dementia?

KATY5, You didn't say how old your father is. I think that will be the deciding factor in this. Aricept helped my husband in the early stages but I swear it doesn't seem to be doing anything at this point! If I knew then what I know now, I would have put my husband in a NH awhile ago. It is a really tough job trying to cope with this mess. I truly think they are happier in the NH surroundings than just sitting at home. I presently have my husband on a waiting list and it can't come too soon.

I hope you don't think this is being selfish, it's just that they really don't know how bad they are acting and it is really hard on the person taking care of them. You have a life too. I keep telling myself that anyway!

Good Luck and God Bless,
Jan

 
Old 02-26-2007, 09:42 AM   #5
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Re: Any foods/vitamins that can help with Dementia?

Hello,

I agree with the other posters. Aricept is worthwhile. It will keep the decline from advancing quite so quickly. Another newer drug is Namenda which is used in conjunction with Aricept and it can be administered at any point in the course of the disease, not just near the beginning.

I would also recommend vitamin E and some Omega 3s...in addition to a good quality multi-vitamin, on the premise that it can't hurt!!

Good luck in your decision.

 
Old 02-27-2007, 05:05 PM   #6
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Re: Any foods/vitamins that can help with Dementia?

Thank you all for your replies and warm thoughts!

We've decided that at the moment my dad isn't that bad that he needs to be in a home. His doctor said he currently has too many moments of being lucid to stay in a setting like that, although I'm sure he will eventually be in one.

To answer someone's question he is 77 years old.

And he was on Aricept for 3 months and there was no difference. His doctor took him off it, and he actually improved a little bit because he is on sooo many medications (he also has Parkinson's, high blood pressure, and is a diabetic) that they thought maybe the less medications the more "with it" he would be.

So we're currently going to give it a try, until we can't handle it anymore. Hopefully that won't be for a VERY, VERY long time because I'll do anything in my power that I can to help him.

Thanks again to everyone!

 
Old 02-27-2007, 09:13 PM   #7
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Re: Any foods/vitamins that can help with Dementia?

There is a remote possibility that something among all the other medications is causing symptoms that appear to be like dementia. Did you consider that possibility? At one point when my father was hospitalized, he was discharged with 13 medications. I found a new doctor and he eventually weaned him off many of them, and my dad's mental condition improved. Just a thought....
Tsohl

 
Old 02-28-2007, 04:37 AM   #8
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Re: Any foods/vitamins that can help with Dementia?

I'm 99% certain that much AD is caused by medications. My Mom's symptoms began after a heart failure/lung edema episode. She was as sharp as a tack before that, at 93 years of age.

She was put on 6 precription drugs and within 3 months had obvious symptoms - forgetfulness, repeating herself etc. Of course we all thought ''well look how old she is, it's just normal." But she was almost as old before the drugs, and was doing fine.

As I have said before, they saved her body and let her mind go. Too high a price?

love,

Martha

 
Old 02-28-2007, 06:06 AM   #9
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Re: Any foods/vitamins that can help with Dementia?

Katy 5,

The only supplement that I have found that could help memory is Huperzine A. Chinese scientists reported in 1995 that it slowed memory loss. There was a clinical trial, endorsed by Alzheimer groups, last year, but I can't find the results although I think it substantiated the original claim.

My husband and I take 200mcg daily of the Hup A. I think 200 to 400mcg is the recommended dose and it is cheap. As far as I know there are no side effects.

If you research it, be sure and note any restrictions. For example, it is not recommended that it be taken with Naminda or Aricept as Hup A also acts on the same brain receptors. There are other medications that it should not be taken with as well.

The other supplement we take for memory is folic acid as there was some big study in Denmark? over several years that showed men who took the supplement were less likely to develop AD.

Jane

 
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