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possible 4 dementia symptoms WORSEN w/namenda?

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Old 01-07-2005, 03:36 PM   #1
Join Date: Jan 2005
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quiddity HB User
Unhappy possible 4 dementia symptoms WORSEN w/namenda?

hi, thank you for reading this, i hope someone can help...

my mom is 80 and is diagnosed with dementia. looking back, this disease seems to have first shown itself when she was around 76 when out of the blue she started having a lot of trouble walking. the docs first thought it was adult onset hydrocephalus, but then said it was "white matter disease" since her brain scan revealed a lot of little strokes. now it's dementia. i think white matter disease and dementa might be the same?

she was diagnosed with diabetes when she was 79 and her dementia seemed to worsen more rapidly about the same time - her memory and ability to walk.

but REALLY recently, in the last 2 weeks, she has gotten a lot worse. it ties in with the time she started on Namenda. could this just be a coincidence or is it possible for a drug that's supposed to HELP patients with dementia, actually worsen their condition? my brother and sisters and my mom's caregivers have noticed this sudden dive too. so today, we stopped the Namenda, but did we jump too soon?

she just seems physically weaker since she's been on it, a lot less inclined to initiate any conversation, and sometimes talks about stuff that we can't see (like she'll say her mom's cousin from germany is visiting, except she's not). in addition to the Namenda, she is on humulin & glucophage (diabetes) /metropolil and lisinopril (stroke prevention) /zocor (cholesterol) / wellbutrin (depression).

i wish i wish iwish i wish we could find something to slow this disease down....she tried Aricept but got extremely nauseous on it. i was really so much hoping for the Namenda to work... is there anything else that might help? vitamins, herbs?

thank you...

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Old 01-07-2005, 05:04 PM   #2
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Location: Virginia, USA
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BarbaraH HB UserBarbaraH HB UserBarbaraH HB UserBarbaraH HB User
Re: possible 4 dementia symptoms WORSEN w/namenda?

Hi quiddity,

My sympathies. I do understand your concerns and your heartfelt wishes. My mother had Alzheimer's.

I'd suggest talking to a pharmacist - hopefully one who filled all of her prescriptions. Express your concerns, relate the new decline, and ask if the new problems could be from the Namenda or from a drug interaction with other medicines she is on - or even from her diabetes. Have her blood sugars been within normal range?

Also call her doctor, let the doctor know about the new problems and that the family has stopped the Namenda. There should be a doctor on call if you live where the office is already closed.

My mother was on Aracept, but I could not tell that she got any benefit. She did benefit greatly from an antidepressant and later, when she had sundowners, she did sleep at night better with a sleeping pill.

This is not easy and it is so sad. I hope you find an answer that helps your mother regain her memories and strength.

Wishing you well - Barbara

Old 01-11-2005, 09:08 AM   #3
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Central California
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camachinist HB User
Re: possible 4 dementia symptoms WORSEN w/namenda?

FWIW, my mom's "demons" left and her leg tremors stopped when I eliminated Aricept from her regime. She is also diabetic and has a confirmed vascular dementia dx. She also appears to be very sensetive to medications, especially psych ones, so we're also suspecting LBD.

IMO, more analysis is needed and Namenda should be reversed for study of effect. Contact your doctor for more information and/or a referral.

Good luck!


Old 01-13-2005, 04:10 PM   #4
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dolores129 HB User
Question Re: possible 4 dementia symptoms WORSEN w/namenda?

What "demons" do you mean? My mom is Aricept(1 1/.2year) and Namenda (4 months). She has delusions about people taking her house; these can be from old friends to me. it is always focused on her house. She has leg tremors but is also on Risperdal for the delusions--helps minimize them but doesn't make them go away. It is a daily issue....some one asked her for the house, they called and told her she had to move; they came by and asked her to give them the house; etc......

Old 01-13-2005, 09:26 PM   #5
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Central California
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camachinist HB User
Re: possible 4 dementia symptoms WORSEN w/namenda?

My mom has fairly consistent hallucinations, but the "demons" were especially aggressive and she believed they were tugging at her and her bedding as she was sleeping. After cessation of Aricept, she still hallucinates, albeit less often, but the images are less vivid (by her description) and there is no aggression. She also now longer hears people "talking in the attic". She was just talking about her hallucinations tonight, and talked quite plainly and calmly about them, describing them as such "hallucinations" and that she knew they weren't real, but still seemed so real.

She has no leg tremors at all since stopping Aricept. I would say her memory is no better or worse, as with VD her cognition can vary markedly from day to day, from many factors. She seems more content and less stressed.

I haven't introduced psych drugs because she lives alone with only part-time help and I don't want to have to deal with side effects long distance or institutionalize her yet. Sometimes QOL is a hard balance to strike, but I'm finding she does better with fewer meds rather than more, at least at this stage.

We haven't tried Namenda. I'm going to talk to the doctor about Reminyl as an AChEi replacement for Aricept. Right now mom is clean of brain meds, just taking her diabetes oral med, thyroid med and BP med, plus aspirin and vitamin E.

Personally, I think, because I listen to her delusions and stories and talk about them matter of factly, she feels she doesn't have to convince me, so she loses interest. Only rarely do they consume her. At this point, she's stage 4-5, with a 25 MMSE, and still makes new memory routinely. Likely, her hallucinations are from lesions on her occipital lobe, which are remnants from her stroke and neurosurgery.

Anecdotally, I've read many reports on our other AD group from people have bad reactions or worsening when Namenda was introduced. I've also seen some where condition worsened when Namenda replaced memantine, which seems odd. Condition stabilized after switching back in the cases I read. Memantine and Namenda should be pharmakinetically identical.

Hope that helps....


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