Blood test to assess...

Charlie

Registered User
Apr 1, 2003
161
My father has been on Aricept for over a year and we have asked the GP to review the medication as he seems to be deteriorating much more rapidly. Before they decide what to do he was asked to go for a blood test at the hospitol. Unfortuntaley I could not attend so missed a few questions.

Does anyone know how the blood test can be used to assess the effectiveness of his current medication or indeed why it was necessary. The clinic made no other test or assessments.

Please go gentle with me as I do not have a medical background

thanks in advance
Charlie....
 

Meldrew

Registered User
Apr 28, 2003
53
London
Hello Charlie
I don't think that the blood test your dad has will be to assess the effectiveness of Aricept - this is usually measured through observation and the results of the mini-mental state examination (see http://www.alzheimers.org.uk/How_is_dementia_diagnosed/Diagnosis_process/info_MMSE.htm for details of this).
It's more likely that the blood test is to see if he has any other medical problems which can cause confusion and make his symptoms appear worse. For example, urinary tract or chest infections, vitamin deficiencies, thyroid gland problems, etc. can all cause confusion. It's also important to rule out any other medical conditions that might preclude someone from taking certain medications, such as severe renal problems.
Hope that's useful (and gentle enough).
 

Charlie

Registered User
Apr 1, 2003
161
Meldrew,

thanks, that's really helpful as I was a bit confussed myself. It does make sense that they'd eliminate other problems before changing or modifying the medication. Unfortnately he's not looking after himself as well as he used to and it would be easy to miss something simple - this is quite a common problem and it seems important to get a regular health check.

I'll go along to the next appointment to get more information.

thanks for taking the time to post and being very gentle.
Charlie.....