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Aricept and other things
frustrated047
Posted: Wednesday, February 1, 2012 4:41 PM
Joined: 12/18/2011
Posts: 36


I have been looking through some older posts and decided to ask....I have been on Aricept 10 mg. for about two months.  Is it common to one day suddenly feel like your head is working a little bit better? 

 

I truly am frustrated.  I saw my GP Dr. for the Raynauds Disease that I now have as a result of the beta blockers I have been on for 12 years.  As she was looking though my chart, she noticed that my neurologist was working me up for presenile dementia.  She actually turned and asked me "Are you aware your being worked up for dementia?  Is that what you want?  Do you want to have that?"  I truly could not believe my ears, neither could my husband sitting next to me.  The trouble I seem to have is that I am "young" (4 and physically look fine.  Conversation is truly hard for me and to keep a thought is truly challenging, among many other things. 

 

 


Ttom
Posted: Wednesday, February 1, 2012 5:01 PM
Joined: 11/29/2011
Posts: 182


frustrated047 wrote:

....I have been on Aricept 10 mg. for about two months.  Is it common to one day suddenly feel like your head is working a little bit better? 

 

 she noticed that my neurologist was working me up for presenile dementia. 

 

 

It is entirely normal to notice that your fog has been lifted at about the time you mention. Happened to me also! 

 

 

 

My disclaimer:
I'm not a professional in this area, only a person with AD that cares about others and can express myself yet. Diagnosed at age 58 in Stage 5, now appear firmly in Stage 4 for now- wonderful meds! I 'm 62 now..

We encourage you to call the Alzheimer's Association's 24/7 Helpline

1-800-272-3900 . Ask for a Care Consultant who will be available

Helpful hints for slowing the progression:

  1. Get Early detection
  2. Start the required drug therapy
  3. Avoid stress
  4. Mediterranean diet with antioxidants and Omega 3
  5. Mental and physical exercise


LATER... Tom

 

 


 


frustrated047
Posted: Wednesday, February 1, 2012 6:14 PM
Joined: 12/18/2011
Posts: 36


Thank's Tom!
Ttom
Posted: Wednesday, February 1, 2012 6:24 PM
Joined: 11/29/2011
Posts: 182


frustrated047 wrote:
Thank's Tom!
Don't thank me, thank you for improving!

Iris L.
Posted: Wednesday, February 1, 2012 6:31 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 16508


frustrated047 wrote:

  Is that what you want?  Do you want to have that?"  I truly could not believe my ears, neither could my husband sitting next to me.   

 

 

 

 

 

Your doctor is CLUELESS.  That's not unusual.  Many doctors don't know how to evaluate a patient of any age for dementia.  In my case, I noticed improvement in memory and word finding after about three weeks of Exelon patch.  I had even more improvement after Namenda was added to my drug regimen.   

 

Make sure treatable diseases have been searched for and treated, especially depression. 

 

Iris L. 

 



SteveSanJose
Posted: Wednesday, February 1, 2012 7:08 PM
Joined: 1/3/2012
Posts: 189


Your doctor is not in good communicator. Ask for clarification if you don't understand what he is saying, and sometimes repeat something he already said. Did you ask him what he meant when your doctors said to "do you want dementia" ? Sometimes your doctor needs your help in communication skills, in a polite and courteous manner, reflecting there long education. I was lucky that my PCP, even before I got MCI and, then Alzheimer's, was a Alzheimer's researcher; who also did private practice. My.donors know how to talk to me because I asked them how to talk to me. To always tell me why, not to do this and that, and say don't worry about it, there are is this what you want. Ask why do I want this to the doctor.

Say Ah 


frustrated047
Posted: Wednesday, February 1, 2012 10:57 PM
Joined: 12/18/2011
Posts: 36


 Iris L. wrote: 

 

Make sure treatable diseases have been searched for and treated, especially depression. 

 

Iris L. 

 

I know my memory/cognitive issues are not a result of my depression.  The depression started when my memory/cognitive issues really affected my life.

 

Is it also "normal" that you feel as if your losing yourself?  I live in a very rural area and there are not any support groups for people around my age.  Because I was getting so bad, we had to tell certain people that I have a neurological degenerative disorder.  It seems that people really treat you different when they are told that.  It's like your on a roller coster.  On your good day's ( I have more of them since the Aricept kicked in), everyone sort of forget's that I have a problem, then something happens that reminds everyone.  I, on the other hand, live with fairly constant reminders, some little and some not so little.  

 

I get very sad when I look at my husband and children.   The one good thing, I guess, is that I did start the anti-depression medicine and that at least seems to help a little.  


Iris L.
Posted: Thursday, February 2, 2012 12:50 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 16508


By treatable diseases, I meant conditions such as low thyroid or vitamin deficiencies.  Are you being treated by a neurologist who is skilled in dementia diagnosis and treatment?  This is very important because the average PCP is not up-to-date on early stage dementia care nor early onset dementia care. 

 

IMO, dementia care will be different now than for ADLOs who were diagnosed at an older, later stage.  You will see in reading the Caregiver boards that many ADLOs were symptomatic for years before anyone made any attempts at getting medical treatment.  Early treatment is one of the keys.  You have begun medical treatment.  You must continue Best Practices  to help prolong the early stages and to keep you functional.   

 

The other key is to learn about AD and prepare yourself and your family for the inevitable changes that will come up.  That's what this board is all about.  Read as much as you can, especially on the main web page.  On the Caregiver board, remember that they are posting mostly about later stage ADLOs. 

 

Be careful of talking to too many outsiders.  Many on the board may disagree with me, because they believe in increasing awareness by telling a lot of people.  That's appropriate for some people because they have a lot of support.  But for others, who have little to no support, telling people you have dementia or AD is an open door for people to take advantage of you and treat you badly.  Be discreet.  Keep reading and posting this board.  There is a chat room where you can chat with other EOADs in real time.   

 

Iris L.


JAB
Posted: Thursday, February 2, 2012 7:31 PM
Joined: 11/30/2011
Posts: 740


frustrated047 wrote:
As she was looking though my chart, she noticed that my neurologist was working me up for presenile dementia.  She actually turned and asked me "Are you aware your being worked up for dementia?  Is that what you want?  Do you want to have that?" 

 

 

 

That constitutes pretty durned poor communication skills in my book.  One is not "worked up for presenile dementia".  One is worked up for any and all of the very many disorders that can cause similar symptoms, but which are often treatable.  And yeah, you do want to have one of those.

 

Geez.

 

It takes something like six weeks for Aricept to build up to a steady-state concentration in your blood ... so as Ttom says, yes, that's about when you would start to notice a difference if it's going to help you.

 

I have to say, I agree with Iris.  There's nothing "wrong" with having cognitive problems -- it's certainly not anything to be embarrassed or ashamed about -- but yes, there are entirely too many people who will try to take advantage if they know you have a problem.  People who have a strong support group can do the "raising awareness" thing.  Those who don't really should focus on protecting themselves instead, IMO.



Myriam
Posted: Thursday, February 2, 2012 7:38 PM
Joined: 12/6/2011
Posts: 3326


From the Alzheimer's Daily News regarding cognitive decline as we age:


(Source: University of Bristol) - New findings, led by neuroscientists at the University of Bristol and recently published, reveal a novel mechanism through which the brain may become more reluctant to function as we grow older.

It is not fully understood why the brain's cognitive functions such as memory and speech decline as we age. Although work published this year suggests cognitive decline can be detectable before 50 years of age. The research, led by Professor Andy Randall and Dr. Jon Brown, identified a novel cellular mechanism underpinning changes to the activity of neurons which may underlie cognitive decline during normal healthy aging.

The brain largely uses electrical signals to encode and convey information. Modifications to this electrical activity are likely to underpin age-dependent changes to cognitive abilities.

Go to full story: http://www.sciencedaily.com


frustrated047
Posted: Thursday, February 2, 2012 9:09 PM
Joined: 12/18/2011
Posts: 36


Iris L. wrote:

By treatable diseases, I meant conditions such as low thyroid or vitamin deficiencies.  Are you being treated by a neurologist who is skilled in dementia diagnosis and treatment?  This is very important because the average PCP is not up-to-date on early stage dementia care nor early onset dementia care. 

 

 

They have done a few blood tests for the low thyroid and any vitamin deficiencies and they all come back in the normal range.  Because we live in a rural area and have state insurance, it would not be easy to see another neurologist so I haven't asked him that yet.  I do intend to at my next appt. 

 

JAB-Unfortunately I have come across too many Dr.'s with extremely poor communication.  I will say that those comments are high on the "huh?" list!

 

Myriam-Thank-you for the information. 

 

We have only told a few people that I have to deal with and have noticed a change in me, such as my son's special ed director. 

 

I have looked around the message boards and solutions and have found some interesting information.  Thank-you all so much for the response.  I hope to get to the chat room soon


SteveSanJose
Posted: Friday, February 3, 2012 12:22 PM
Joined: 1/3/2012
Posts: 189


 I used to live in a rule area, until I started having memory issues. I realize, after going into the big city for services, back and forth, that it would be best to to move to the big city. Especially as Alzheimer's progresses, you are going to need more and more services, I was looking to the future, I know what is going to happen. That's why I gave up my country life, in Felton, California ( near Santa Cruz ), to move to the much larger, San Jose. I was hard to give up my home and live in the Sr retirement housing that I live in now. But the added services big city sold me. San Jose has just under 1 million people, 10 largest city in USA.

Homey 


frustrated047
Posted: Friday, February 3, 2012 5:46 PM
Joined: 12/18/2011
Posts: 36


SteveSanJose wrote:

 I used to live in a rule area, until I started having memory issues. I realize, after going into the big city for services, back and forth, that it would be best to to move to the big city. Especially as Alzheimer's progresses, you are going to need more and more services, I was looking to the future, I know what is going to happen. That's why I gave up my country life, in Felton, California ( near Santa Cruz ), to move to the much larger, San Jose. I was hard to give up my home and live in the Sr retirement housing that I live in now. But the added services big city sold me. San Jose has just under 1 million people, 10 largest city in USA.

Homey 

I am familiar with that area as I lived in Northern Ca for about 20 years.  It is hard right now with the housing market in the shape it's in now  

We do have a child with learning disabilities going into high school next year, so there are lots of involved stuff.  The major thing is the insurance.  I recently applied to sssi and will probably have to wait for medicaid.  We live a little closer to Salem, OR with Portland being a little further away.



Griz054
Posted: Saturday, February 4, 2012 11:14 AM
Joined: 12/26/2011
Posts: 11


My wife was diagnosed with dementia in December. We are still running through all the testing to narrow it down but with her family history, it is most likely EOAD. The neurologist started her on Aricept on December 20th. When she did a Mini-Mental State Exam on her that day, Fran scored a 21 out 30. Yesterday, we saw the psychologist hat is going to do the full battery of neuro-cognitive tests on her in 10 days. As part of his interview and screening, he did another version of the MMSE. I didn't see that score but it was clear that Fran did much better on it. Things that she had absolutely no ability to do back in December, she was able to complete after 5-6 weeks on the Aricept. I could have danced a jig after that doctor's appointment.
frustrated047
Posted: Saturday, February 4, 2012 12:04 PM
Joined: 12/18/2011
Posts: 36


Griz054 wrote:
My wife was diagnosed with dementia in December. We are still running through all the testing to narrow it down but with her family history, it is most likely EOAD. The neurologist started her on Aricept on December 20th. When she did a Mini-Mental State Exam on her that day, Fran scored a 21 out 30. Yesterday, we saw the psychologist hat is going to do the full battery of neuro-cognitive tests on her in 10 days. As part of his interview and screening, he did another version of the MMSE. I didn't see that score but it was clear that Fran did much better on it. Things that she had absolutely no ability to do back in December, she was able to complete after 5-6 weeks on the Aricept. I could have danced a jig after that doctor's appointment.

 

Sorry to hear about your wife, Griz054.  When I took that Mini-Mental exam in the Neurologist office the 1st time I scored a 20.  Glad to hear your wife has improved on the Aricept.  Looking forward to hear what sort of testing they do.  Hope you both have a great day!


SteveSanJose
Posted: Saturday, February 4, 2012 12:35 PM
Joined: 1/3/2012
Posts: 189


I believe mental health assessment is much more than just a Mini mental State exam. It is the exam and a lot of other things that help a doctor determin your mental health. Here is a link on this –
http://www.everydayhealth.com/health-center/mental-health-assessment-how-it-is-done.aspx
 Meditate
JAB
Posted: Saturday, February 4, 2012 4:18 PM
Joined: 11/30/2011
Posts: 740


Hi, Griz054, welcome to the boards.  It's great that your wife is responding so well to the Aricept.  Many loved ones don't.

 

All of our members are free to read and post on any of our forums.  This particular forum is primarily for our members who have an early-onset dementia, and I've learned a lot from them.  I'd like to invite you to also participate in the Spouse/Partner Caregiver Forum, which is primarily for those of us who are (duh) caring for a spouse or partner who has dementia.  We have many members coping with early-onset disorders.  We may be able to help you with, e.g., financial and legal issues you may be facing, and practical tips on how to help your wife function better, and even big, soft cyber hugs when the world is getting you down.

 

There's also the Caregiver Forum, for people who have any relationship with the loved one, spouse or non-.  It's by far the largest and most active forum, and you'll get lots of input ther for issues that all caregivers face in common.


SteveSanJose
Posted: Saturday, February 4, 2012 10:18 PM
Joined: 1/3/2012
Posts: 189


Big cyber hug for everyone thanks to JAB   =)) rolling on the floor 

 

Big Hug   and remember  Grouch Day 2 


Geegee
Posted: Sunday, February 5, 2012 1:20 PM
Joined: 11/29/2011
Posts: 514


Welcome Frustrated!  I'm sorry you are having cognitive problems and on top of that, your PC is not informed about YOAD.  So, we are glad you found us.  We hope you will find the help and support you need in the days ahead.


About 3 weeks after I started Aricept, I began to notice that my recently acquired stuttering  begun to lessen.  My word finding seemed a little better.  I didn't expect to see a change so soon, but I was thankful for any help.


I believe it's extremely important that we select our doctors very carefully.  They need to be informed about and sensitive dementia and memory issues in general.  


Please know we are always here for your support and understanding.


frustrated047
Posted: Sunday, February 5, 2012 4:04 PM
Joined: 12/18/2011
Posts: 36


Geegee wrote:

Welcome Frustrated!  I'm sorry you are having cognitive problems and on top of that, your PC is not informed about YOAD.  So, we are glad you found us.  We hope you will find the help and support you need in the days ahead. 


 

About 3 weeks after I started Aricept, I began to notice that my recently acquired stuttering  begun to lessen.  My word finding seemed a little better.  I didn't expect to see a change so soon, but I was thankful for any help. 


 

I believe it's extremely important that we select our doctors very carefully.  They need to be informed about and sensitive dementia and memory issues in general.   


 

Please know we are always here for your support and understanding. 

 

Thank-you so much Geegee!  I have been extremely happy to have been reading through some of the recent and archived posts.  To have found a place where people are going through similar experiences as I am feels so good.  At the same time, kind of sad.  I'm not happy that any of us are going through this, but I have felt pretty alone.  It's really hard to describe the loss of common thoughts and abilities of things that you were once able to do.  Just last night, my husband & I thought we might play a game of pool.  At one point, my husband had to tell me if I had the stripe or solid color balls, several times after already telling me.  Sometimes directly after telling me.  Just one more example....     



Iris L.
Posted: Sunday, February 5, 2012 5:21 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 16508


frustrated047 wrote:
.  Sometimes directly after telling me.  
 
 
 
 
Just remember, frustrated, that anxiety decreases our memories by HALF!  Sometimes we get so stressed out because we know we can't remember, that what little memory we have gets squashed.  So take a deep breath, and relax.  It helps to learn to laugh at your lapses--at least some of them.  Finding humor in our situations takes the edge off.  
 
I also find it helps for me to repeat out loud what I want to focus on remembering. 
 
Like Geegee, I noticed improvement within a few weeks of beginning Exelon patch at a lower dose, so I was eager to advance to the higher dose and then to add Namenda. 
 
Iris L.