RSS Feed Print
Posted: Tuesday, May 28, 2013 10:20 PM
Joined: 5/26/2013
Posts: 6

My mother has recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer's although she's probably had it and hidden it for some time.  It has run throughout her family and she's witnessed her loved ones go through it and has feared it for herself.  So now here she is.  In the beginning, she was in a depression and crying and was put on antidepressants before being assessed.  It helped and after her assessment was put on Aricept.  She's been doing pretty well, having been on it since April, but lately she has begun crying again, very similar to before. 


Could the reason for this be that the medication isn't working anymore for her- perhaps she is having feelings of sadness again and the dose isn't strong enough, or her symptoms are increasing?  I don't know...I just hate to see her get so upset over non argumentative issues and crying. 


Thank you for any insight to this situation.

Lane Simonian
Posted: Tuesday, May 28, 2013 10:46 PM
Joined: 12/12/2011
Posts: 4814

Welcome, Starchild11.  Apparently, crying can be one of the side effects of Aricept. 


Q: Does Aricept have potential negative side effects regarding personality?  


A: It is possible for Aricept (donepezil hydrochloride) to cause irritability, abnormal crying, nervousness or agitation, insomnia, or abnormal dreams. If this change is drastic, you should have a conversation with the physician to see what solutions you can come up with. 


Aricept provides some patients with symptomatic relief early in the disease, but it does not change the course of the disease.  If agitation is not an issue, you might consider aromatherapy with essential oils high in eugenol (such as clove, cinnamon leaf, basil, rosemary, nutmeg, and bay laurel).  Your mother could smell a few of these oils for a few seconds once or twice a day directly from the bottle. 


Eugenol can improve memory and mood. 


Eugenol (4-allyl-2-methoxyphenol) is a fragrant compound that is commonly contained in various sorts of plants, especially in spices and medicinal herbs. Eugenol has been used for dental analgesic, which also has anticonvulsive and anti-microbial activities. Besides, anti-inflammatory and antioxidative activities of eugenol are known. A body of evidence suggests that eugenol can be used as a drug for treatment of Alzheimer's disease (AD). According to recent reports, the extract of a medicinal plant Rhizoma Acori Graminei (RAG) alleviates neurotoxicity induced by amyloid beta peptides (Aβ) in vitro and the active constituent of RAG is eugenol. Eugenol inhibits Aβ-induced excessive influx of calcium ion into neurons that causes neuronal death. Moreover, eugenol possesses an antidepressant-like activity. Eugenol, like other antidepressants, increases expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) gene in the hippocampus, which is necessary for an antidepressant to exhibit its activity. Furthermore, eugenol inhibits monoamine oxidase A (MAO-A) and may restore monoamines that are decreased in the brain of patients with depression. Thus, eugenol can be a good medicine for AD and depression. Here we suggest that eugenol and its analogs can be used also for other diseases of the central nervous system (CNS) including Parkinson's disease (PD). This article reviews the previous investigations concerning effects of eugenol including its analogs on the CNS and describes perspectives of this highly potential compound. 



The following oils can decrease agitation: lavender, Ylang Ylang, rose, chamomile, and lemon balm.  Lemon balm essential oil can improve both cognition and behavior. 



Melissa officinalis extract is of value in the management of mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease and has a positive effect on agitation in such patients

[aromatherapy is safer than an extract]. 


You can read about other spices and herbs that may improve memory on this forum.   There are a number of plant compounds that can either slow down or partially reverse the progression of Alzheimer's disease. 

Posted: Wednesday, May 29, 2013 1:02 PM
Joined: 12/6/2011
Posts: 3326

Great advice from Lane, but I wanted to add that you should speak with her doctor about taking her off of Aricept and replacing it with the Exelon Patch.  Also discuss with the doctor whether adding Namenda (which is another type of memory med) would benefit your mother.
Posted: Wednesday, May 29, 2013 1:46 PM
Joined: 1/14/2013
Posts: 81

I started arosept back in Dec I think and I did have some unusual feelings for awhile but now I'm pretty content. I agree with the idea of adding namenda but I think you should wait until she's fully adjusted to the wishes
Posted: Friday, May 31, 2013 9:38 PM
Joined: 5/26/2013
Posts: 6

Thank you so much everyone for your replies and informative advice.  But mostly, thank you for caring enough to respond.  Hugs
Lane Simonian
Posted: Friday, May 31, 2013 10:15 PM
Joined: 12/12/2011
Posts: 4814

That is the great thing about these boards--everyone cares.  They have either been through this disease or are going through it themselves or with a loved one.  In this process they have learned so much and they are more than willing to share their knowledge with others.  Keep visiting the site and ask as many questions or provide insights whenever you wish.
Posted: Saturday, June 1, 2013 8:58 PM
Joined: 5/26/2013
Posts: 6

Thanks Lane
Posted: Wednesday, June 26, 2013 5:28 PM
Joined: 6/25/2013
Posts: 23

Hi Starchild.  My dad is on Aricept and Nameda for his AD.  We have an appt next week for him to see his dr as he seems like he is getting worse, he gets scared easily, thinks the tv shows are real and doesn't want to take his meds.  I think his AD is too far gone for the patch, but mama wants to see
Johanna C.
Posted: Friday, June 28, 2013 12:12 AM
Joined: 12/9/2011
Posts: 10992

Hello Starchild and a very warm welcome to you.  I see you have received quite a bit of input and that is always good.


I also want to invite you to the, "Caregiver's Forum."  Just click on  that title when you enter this Message Board.


The Caregiver's Forum is the place where the vast majority of family members and significant others go to share, support and communicate.  You will get a lot of responses and you will find that others have had a similar experience and can share their experiential wisdom with you.


Also, the Alzheimer's Assn. has a Helpline that can be reached at, (800) 272-3900.  If you call, ask to speak to a Care Consultant.  Consultants are highly educated Social Workers who specialize in dementia and family dynamics and they can be very helpful.  There is no fee for this service.


In any case, we are so glad you are here.   


Johanna C.