I'm new and i have a question

Cazzie

Registered User
Jan 9, 2008
10
Barnet, Herts
My father has recently been diagnosed with Alzheimers which has been a bit of a shock to us.

Dad is going to be put on Aricept and it says on the info sheets that it can help the disease from progressing for a time. I know that everybody is different but when they say "for a time" do they mean years or months? Why can it not stop the progression completely? I hope i'm not asking too many questions but thank you for reading and i look forward to any responses.
 

christine_batch

Registered User
Jul 31, 2007
3,388
Buckinghamshire
Hi Cazzie,
I am sorry to hear about your Father. Unfortunately, it is a very difficult question to answer as everyone is different. Consultant and Doctors do not know the answers. It is a day by day situation. There will be good days and there will be bad days. The advantage my husband had on Aricept was it delayed the deterioration.
Getting help and support is so beneficial.
There are fact sheets on the home page. Contacting your local Alzheimer's Branch.
I know that from my point of view, Talking Point has been a life saver.
I wish you all the best.
Christine
 

Cazzie

Registered User
Jan 9, 2008
10
Barnet, Herts
Hi Cazzie,
I am sorry to hear about your Father. Unfortunately, it is a very difficult question to answer as everyone is different. Consultant and Doctors do not know the answers. It is a day by day situation. There will be good days and there will be bad days. The advantage my husband had on Aricept was it delayed the deterioration.
Getting help and support is so beneficial.
There are fact sheets on the home page. Contacting your local Alzheimer's Branch.
I know that from my point of view, Talking Point has been a life saver.
I wish you all the best.
Christine
Hi Christine: thank you for answering my post. I know everybody is different but i was just wondering why it can only be stopped progressing "for a time".
 

Skye

Registered User
Aug 29, 2006
17,000
SW Scotland
Hi Cazzie, welcome to TP.

The only answer is that no-one has yet found a cure for the disease. Alzheimer's is caused by the formation of plaques in the brain. These stop messages passing from cell to cell, and gragually the cells die. This is an over-simpiflication, you can find more information here:

http://www.alzheimers.org.uk/factsheet/401

There are drugs which will slow the rate of decay for some people, but not for all. And for some people the effects last for years, for others not so long. It truly is different for everyone. All you can do is try Aricept, and hope! If that doesn't work, the consultant may be willing to try another drug.

You can read about the drugs here:

http://www.alzheimers.org.uk/factsheet/407

I hope it works for your dad. Don't hesitate to ask if you have other questions.
 

BeckyJan

Registered User
Nov 28, 2005
18,972
Derbyshire
Hello Cazzie:

You will soon discover that Dementia is different in each case.
When my husband was diagnosed with Alz.some 4 yrs ago our Doctor said that Aricept would hopefully keep him on a plateau for some 2/3 yrs. I do believe it has helped but who knows :confused::confused: He will continue on it for as long as the medics will allow. I am so thankful that it has given us more 'useful' time together.

Unfortunately it is not a cure - that is something we have to accept.

Keep asking the questions - we are all here to learn.

Best wishes Jan
 

Cazzie

Registered User
Jan 9, 2008
10
Barnet, Herts
Thank you to you all for your helpful responses and friendly welcomes. This has been such a shock because i lost my mum 2 years ago and although i knew dad's memory was bad it became far more apparent once mum had gone. I finally persuaded him to come to the doc and it moved from there but we are nearly one year on from the original appt, i'm afraid!!

One other question that springs to mind is how do the doctors monitor the strength of the drugs they give him, how and if they are working?
 

Skye

Registered User
Aug 29, 2006
17,000
SW Scotland
Cazzie, normally people are started on a low dose, to see how well they tolerate it. If everything is OK, the dose is gradually increased to the maximum.

They monitor the effect by regular reviews with the consultant, and the scores on the mmse test. If there is no improvement, the treatment may be withdrawn.

http://www.alzheimers.org.uk/factsheet/436

I'm sorry you've recently lost your mum, it must be so hard for you to cope with this. Keep posting, there's lots of support on this forum.
 

DickG

Registered User
Feb 26, 2006
558
84
Stow-on-the-Wold
One other question that springs to mind is how do the doctors monitor the strength of the drugs they give him, how and if they are working?
Welcome Cazzie

I don't think they know as in Mary's case they prescribed 10 mg Aricept and sat back and observed. Mary was on Aricept for 8 years, whether this relatively slow deterioration was due to Aricept no one knows.
 

Lynne

Registered User
Jun 3, 2005
3,433
Suffolk,England
Hi Cazzie

My own experience of Aricept (10mg dose) as given to my Mum is that it stabilised her short-term memory for about 18 months. It is now starting to worsen again, and she is becoming anxious about everything, especially being left alone (she is still in her own home, and I now live with her).

It was interesting that you first realised your dad's problem after a bereavement. My mum lost her sister (to cancer) and it was during the next year that I became seriously concerned about her; I had thought for a while that she was grieving - naturally - but it became apparent that there was a bigger issue.
Of course, while your Dad had Mum to support him his symptoms would have been obscured by her care as well.

Best wishes
 

DickG

Registered User
Feb 26, 2006
558
84
Stow-on-the-Wold
When Mary was diagnosed the psychiatrist said that although eventually she would have developed Alzheimer's it was highly likely that a recent emotional trauma caused the early onset.
 

Cazzie

Registered User
Jan 9, 2008
10
Barnet, Herts
My father's memory has been poor for many many years but that is not the same as being diagnosed with alzheimer's disease so i wonder where the poor memory stopped and the alzheimer's took over?

Its actually very interesting to hear wot you all have said about mum dying.

Thanks again for your replies and support.