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Alzheimer's Disease & Dementia Message Board

Dementia


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Old 05-27-2014, 08:37 AM   #1
silkey
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Dementia

Has anyone had success using the drug Namenda. My wife is in the beginning of dementia and I am afraid of the drug. Her diagnoses is inconclusive, they are leaning toward vascular dementia.

 
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Old 05-27-2014, 10:23 AM   #2
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Re: Dementia

The underlying causes of Alzheimer's and Vascular Dementia are very different. Namenda is a medication that has been approved for treatment of Alzheimer's not Vascular Dementia. To date there has been no medication approved for the treatment of Vascular Dementia. Of course any medication taken to improve the blood supply, heart and vascular medications such as blood thinners or high blood pressure medication, may help the vascular dementia as well. This is why a good diagnosis is important.

There are also major side effects. Gastrointestinal side effects such as nausea, diarrhea, or constipation are common and both of my parents had these side effects. Tiredness, body aches, and dizziness are also common and can increase fall risk. This one affected my Dad. One that I did pick up on with Mom (who had Alzheimer's) was increased anxiety and aggression. This is a lesser occurring side effect but very important to pay attention too. Further confusion and hallucinations is something I saw with Dad (who had Vascular Dementia). Weight loss is also on the list and I saw this with both of my parents. Having said this, I saw no marked improvement from the medication in either of my parents.

This is not a cure and does not treat the underlying cause of the disease. It just attempts to trick the brain by reducing the brain chemical glutamate giving the neurons a bit more time to actually work. There is modest success in some patients but by no means will it improve the brain function of every patient. And I will say again, it is a medication for Alzheimer's and not Vascular Dementia.

If you do decide to start this medication be sure to check out the entire list of side effects and watch for any changes in health or behavior. Perhaps you will be one of the lucky ones that it might help... Mom and Dad were not.

Love, deb

 
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Old 05-27-2014, 12:52 PM   #3
silkey
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Re: Dementia

Thank you Deb for your reply, we are not sure what my wife has. We just started treating her for sleep apnea which she has had for at least 15 years. Our research show that untreated sleep apnea can be a contributing factor to dementia. Keeping our fingers crossed!
She seems to get lost in the middle of a sentence and forgets things, and forget anything that has to do with math. She has a tough time grasping for a word. Funny thing she is perfect physically.
Silkey

 
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Old 05-27-2014, 04:07 PM   #4
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Re: Dementia

Silkey, it is not unusual for one to be healthy in appearance yet have some type of dementia. Looking at my Mom or Dad you would have never guessed. Dad did have heart issues for years but looked healthy. Mom was a picture of health, walked every day, had not other current medical conditions, and took no medication. She just had Alzheimer's.

Diagnosing Dementia is basically done by ruling everything else out and then watching the progression and symptoms. Each type of Dementia had a different set of symptoms and manner of progression. There are no "test" for the different types of dementia. That is why it can take a long time to get a diagnosis. Hopefully this will change sooner rather than later.

Is she on a c-pap? ... or other treatment? You will need to be sure she uses whatever it is. If there is a cognition problem she will tend to no use the new treatment unless prompted. If she doesn't improve, then continue to search for an answer. Hopefully it is caused by something that you can correct and improvement will occur. If not you know that you have done all that you can.

Love, deb

 
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Old 07-28-2014, 07:11 AM   #5
scorptired
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Re: Dementia

Silkey, my husband has Alzheimer's and is taking Namenda. It seems to help keep his mind clearer and doesn't seem to have too many side effects. He did complain of headaches when he first started taking it but, those went away after a couple of weeks. He also has suffered from sleep apnea all his life.

 
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