Mild dementia

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My 89 year old Mum has just been diagnosed with mild dementia. She was given Donepezil tablets and within half an hour of taking her first one had a very bad bout of diarrhoea. I called her Doctor and she is now getting patches. I know there are a lot of side effects. My concern is that if the patches give her the same problems she will not be happy to continue with them. My question is does the dementia worsen faster without medication? I have a feeling that she will experience side effects and have been told that there is only one more tablet they can prescribe and if she has any difficuly with that, then there is nothing else that can be given. She is just having memory problems and other than that is fine. Apparently 1 in 5 people of her age have dementia. 

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  • Posted

    Pat, there isn't really anything that will significantly reduce the progression of dementia. I'm sorry to tell you this, but it's true. If your mum can tolerate the donepezil patches this will have a very slight slowing effect on the advance of the disease, but it's all you can hope for. If she can't tolerate even the patches, frankly it would be kinder to stop the drug.

    I'm so sorry. Both my mother and a very dear friend developed dementia. I know how hard it is, both for the sufferer and their loved ones.

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  • Posted

    Hi Pat,

    Whatever meds your mother is given will NOT slow down the disease itself.

    Donepezil is the first treatment of choice. It is supposed to help people with dementia remember hoe to do crossword puzzle etc.

    I'm a Specialist Dementia Nurse, by the way. None of the drugs ever invented for dementia stop the disease progressing.

    And the dementia does not worsen faster without medication.

    Can you go back to your doctor and express your concerns.

    Actually, there are lots of drugs that can be prescribed, but they have no curative powers whatsoever. People who benefit from donepezil stop benefitting after a few months, so the doctor takes them off them.

    Foe severe dementia, memantine has just been approved for use. I have mixed feelings about this - I believe that you should go to a Specialist Psychiatrist, who will answer all your questions.

    Pm me if you like, Pat.

    Love Tess xxx

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    • Posted

      Hi Tess, Mum had her test at a Memory Centre. It was the Psychiatrist I spoke to re her patch etc., My mum has type 2 diabetes and she had a stroke 9 years ago which they found the small scar of during a CT scan last week. She is on so many tablets for this and that I am worried she will have more side effects. Frankly I would rather her not take anything if there are only short term benefits. She goes to a day centre 3 times a week and they play cards and really enjoy themselves. It is very sad when dementia appears. Thank you all here for your help it is much appreciated and I feel better knowing I can ask for advice. (Tess I may well take you up on that offer and PM you at some time if that's ok, it's very kind of you) smile 

      love pat xx

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