As the largest resource of information specific to women's brain health, we are sure you will find what you are looking for, and promise that you will discover new information.
Published on: January 16, 2012
by Dr. Kaycee Sink for Everyday Health:
Q: My sister informed me that my mom has been taken off of her Aricept medication because “she’s too far gone.” It’s my understanding that Aricept is the only medicine out there that is for all stages of the disease. Plus my mom isn’t in her final stage; she still functions physically, and she still has her memories of her childhood and other stuff. Are they wrong for taking her off her Aricept, and if so, what can I do to save my mom? (My sister has power of attorney for her.)
A: Donepezil (Aricept) is approved for all stages of Alzheimer’s disease (mild-severe). Memantine (Namenda) is approved for moderate to severe Alzheimer’s disease. The general recommendation of Alzheimer’s disease experts is that patients continue on a cholinesterase inhibitor indefinitely if they seemed to respond to it and are tolerating it. (Aricept is in this drug class; Namenda is not.) My personal practice is to continue the medications for as long as there is still some cognitive function to protect.
However, none of these drugs reverse the disease and are only modestly effective in slowing decline while a person is taking them. That is to say that none of the medicines we have will “save” her. In addition, not everyone responds to them. So, if your mother’s doctor felt that she was not benefiting from the Aricept – or that the side effects or costs outweighed any benefit – then it may have been reasonable to stop it.
I would talk to your sister about the reasons why the drug was stopped, and whether it was replaced with another medicine, like Namenda.
A new comprehensive study from Florida State University (FSU) finds no evidence to support the idea that personality changes begin before the clinical onset of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or dementia. MCI is an intermediate...
On the evening of Monday November 27th, join us for conversation and cocktails with award-winning journalist, editor and author Tina Brown, and Indigo’s CEO Heather Reisman. Hear from Tina Brown about her eight-year tenure at Vanity...
The presence of TAR DNA-binding protein 43 (TDP-43) in the hippocampus on postmortem examination is associated with increased rates of hippocampal atrophy in patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD), new research suggests. This association was greatest...
The material presented through the Think Tank feature on this website is in no way intended to replace professional medical care or attention by a qualified practitioner. WBHI strongly advises all questioners and viewers using this feature with health problems to consult a qualified physician, especially before starting any treatment. The materials provided on this website cannot and should not be used as a basis for diagnosis or choice of treatment. The materials are not exhaustive and cannot always respect all the most recent research in all areas of medicine.