Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Memory Medications and Strategies

from the Alzheimer's Disease Center

Four medications, tacrine (Cognex), donepezil (Aricept), rivastigmine tartrate (Exelon) and galantamine (Reminyl), may slow the intellectual decline in some people with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease. These drugs (called cholinesterase inhibitors) increase the brain's levels of acetylcholine, which helps to restore communication between brain cells. Another medication, memantine (Namenda), has been shown to stabilize memory in people with moderate to severe Alzheimer's disease. It is the first in a new class of medications called NMDA receptor antagonists.
Note that my husband takes the expensive Exelon and Namenda. They help!
Other strategies used to help people with Alzheimer's include psychotherapy techniques (reality orientation and memory retraining) and medications to relieve depression and calm agitated behavior. As much as possible, you should follow a regular exercise routine, maintain normal social contacts with family and friends and continue intellectual activities. In addition to regularly scheduled doctor visits, patients and their families should take advantage of community resources and support groups. Discuss any safety concerns, especially driving, with the doctor. Although several nonprescription products claim to improve mental function, the scientific evidence to support this claim is weak. Check with your doctor before taking any nonprescription medication, especially if you are taking a prescription medication for heart problems, diabetes, high blood pressure or mental illness or if you have problems with your heart or liver.
My husband has taken Vitamin B12 and Flaxseed Oil with his doctor's approval for over a year.


  1. There was a study that vitamin B3 helped. I will email you the MP3 audio file from NPR Science Friday, November 7, 2008.

  2. Thanks, Earl. If you Google Vitamin B3 and memory you get various articles. "Vitamin 'may be Alzheimer's aid'" is the article I read:

    "A vitamin found in meat, fish and potatoes may help protect the brain from Alzheimer's disease - and even boost memory in healthy people. US researchers found vitamin B3 lowered levels of a protein linked to Alzheimer's damage in mice. The Journal of Neuroscience study also showed the animals performed better at memory tests.UK Alzheimer's charities said people should not start taking the vitamin before results from human studies. The vitamin, also called nicotinamide by scientists, is sold in UK pharmacies and health food shops.
    It has already been shown to help people suffering from diabetes complications and has some anti-inflammatory qualities.

    My guy is a meat and potatoes guy. :)