Vascular dementia and memantine

Feistywoman

Registered User
Aug 11, 2018
108
hello again

My Mums vascular dementia is ramping along at a rate of knots. I’ve already had her thinking I’m my aunt, she can no longer function without help ie she can’t use a phone, her neighbours have found her in the garden being unsure of where she was. Anyway, her anxiety seems to crippling, she talks of this sensation in her tummy all the time. I’ve spoken with her CPN who has suggested memantine...I naively thought this was solely for Alzheimer’s? Does anyone have experience of this, they’ve said the side effects are a higher risk of falls and my Mum is already like bambi! Any advice would be greatly appreciated
 

NORTHSIDE

Registered User
Jan 28, 2017
84
Northumberland
Hi, My wife was diagnosed with Alzheimers six years ago, I'm not sure how this compares to vascular dementia. She has been on Donepezil since the diagnosis. More recently she has become very agitated and outright refused all attempts to assist her to dress, wash, shower etc.
Mementine was prescribed to help with the agitation and she began taking it about 3 months ago.
Initially it certainly seems to have eased her agitation, she seemed a little more mellow and a little more accepting of assistance.

More recently the impact does not seem as great, although it may be that I have just become used to her change in behaviour. Overall I think life is certainly a little bit easier because of the Memantine and so far there appear to be no side effects that I am aware of. I hope it works for you.
 

karaokePete

Registered User
Jul 23, 2017
5,063
N Ireland
My wife, who has mixed dementia and scans showed significant vascular damage, has been on Memantine since diagnosis and fairs well on it.

Don't rule out separate treatment for depression and/or anxiety as they are common bedfellows of dementia. My wife is medicated for both of these conditions as well as her dementia.

A chat with the GP may yield results.

I wish you and your mum well.
 

Feistywoman

Registered User
Aug 11, 2018
108
Thank you for your thoughts. My gut instinct is to give it a try, just concerned re the mobility issues
 

MrCanuck

Registered User
Jun 9, 2016
51
Ontario, Canada
My mom had vascular dementia (possibly mixed but vascular for sure) and was on memantine for almost 2 years. In our case we didn't see any increases in falls or added mobility issues. She did get a gradual lean to the left over time but I don't believe that was related to medication. In the end I believe it was beneficial for my mother.

As with any medication different people react differently, so keep an eye on things are report any changes you see.
 

tryingmybest

Registered User
May 22, 2015
626
You are not naive, @Feistywoman, you are definitely correct. There is no research at all to show Memantine helps Vascular Dementia! It is a drug for people with Alzheimers or for a mix of Alzheimers/other type of dementia.

"Alzheimer's disease medications such as donepezil (Aricept), galantamine (Reminyl), rivastigmine (Exelon) or memantine aren't used to treat vascular dementia, but may be used in people with a combination of vascular dementia and Alzheimer's disease"

And

"There has been research on treating vascular dementia with the drugs used for Alzheimer’s disease. This has shown that these drugs don’t have much of an effect. Where they bring a benefit, this is small and is usually seen for mental abilities of people who have both Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia (the most common type of mixed dementia). NICE guidelines recommend cholinesterase inhibitors for treatment of mixed dementia when Alzheimer’s disease is one of the causes, but not for the treatment of just vascular dementia. For more information see What is vascular dementia?"

I am appalled that so called professionals are prescribing it for stand alone Vascular Dementia and this happened to my Mum, once prescribed by an inexperienced newly qualified doctor and then by the Crisis Team. I just couldn't believe it and spoke to Mums GP who was horrified. She is now on a low dose of Mirtazapine, an antidepressent which has lifted her mood, made her less anxious and confused improved her appetite, but best of all, taking it before bedtime, she now sleeps through the night!! My advice to anyone is always research things as the professionals often seem ill informed and are clutching at straws. The use of Memantine is absolutely pointless for just Vascular Dementia, not to mention inflicting unnecessary side effects too!!

Source of above quotes:
https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vascular-dementia/treatment/&ved=2ahUKEwid6_Sd-8TiAhUkURUIHTOzA7QQFjADegQIAhAB&usg=AOvVaw08NvKfIY6ArJUoKLf-K6tn

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/about-dementia/treatments/drugs/effective-other-types-dementia&ved=2ahUKEwiCk5Pr_sTiAhWConEKHc0yDI8QFjADegQIBBAB&usg=AOvVaw0m_lE2rw7wUNGdbRYREAg-
 
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tryingmybest

Registered User
May 22, 2015
626
It was my understanding that Memantine had been through trials with Vascural Dementa and found effective in certain conditions.

Memantine in vascular dementia.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16191242

Who knows, you can find any result you want on Google these days :)
I guess you can but this article is dated 2003. I believe since then, all arguments point against it. Certainly I would go by what the main NHS site says which is that it is NOT suitable for Vascular Dementia, only Alzheimers or Alzheimers with Vascular Dementia.