These medications only promise a small improvement in some people with mild to moderate Alzheimer's. All three drugs have been found to be equally effective. In one measure of how well dementia drugs worked, patients across the studies (including all three approved dementia medications) improved by an average of less than three points on a 70-point scale that tracks mental functioning. This is just an example of the minimal improvements noted in current studies of all three dementia medications. Yes, some work better with some patients and there are some patients that have no benefit at all. But 30 percent of patients do have side effects from these medication. Exelon starts with a smaller dosage and is then increased because of the side effects associated with it. Exelon specifically slow the symptoms for 6 to 12 months in about half of the people that take it. In a recent study of 6 individuals who were taking Exelon... 4 showed no improvement, 1 showed moderate improvement, and 1 showed high improvement. In a European study the placebo group showed a 4.4 point increase in symptoms while the Exelon group showed a 4.1 increase in symptoms. As you see from this... Exelon is not a miracle drug that is going to bring back cognition. At best it will slow the progression of symptoms....
My questin is: has anyone experienced the response time to the drug Exelon for mild dementia or Alzheimers?
My 74 yr old spouse was put on this 1 week ago and it seems I see some results already. Is that a possibility?
His speech and thinking seem just a tad bit clearer, although not perfect.
My FIL took aricept and exelon/namenda in 2007/2008. At that time he said immediately that aricept gave him better perception. He has severe Alzheimer's now and he is 91. Back then it was moderate stage and he had taken these drugs for 2 years. To be honest, this does not make him less confused. They say this helps caregiving but it does not. It will at best delay the dementia for 6 months. It may delay the progress slowly but it will not help the confusion. Later on caregiving will be difficult. My FIL stopped the medications on these things because of side effects.
Thanks Deb, I am aware of some of the things you mentioned but I was wondering if my mind is playing tricks on me as he seems to show a tad bit of improvement in his clarity of speech. The doctor thinks he has NPH. They plan to do a lumbar puncture soon to see if he is a canidate for the shunt. He does not show aggitation, but his short term memory loss is BAD and he struggles to bring out the long term memory. His balance is really bad with falling and injuring himself along with a bladder control problem. The CT scan shows a lot of fluid in the brain with 2 enlarged venticals.
Then I would wonder why they put him on a medication for Alzheimer's if his symptoms point to NPH. He does have the NPH symptoms. If caught early and treated then the shunt should do more than the exelon!! For you I do hope he is a candidate for the shunt and it makes a difference. Push for the spinal tap sooner rather than later
Again, for you, I do hope it is NPH and early enough that the shunt will make a major difference. I have seen a few amazing recoveries with the shut for NPH Good luck to you both and I would love to hear a follow up after the procedure!