Alzheimer's and Dementia Counseling and Education:
call Cindy Keith of M.I.N.D. in Memory Care at (814)-235-0691, or e-mail at keithc@mindinmemorycare.com

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Dementia Information

Thursday, November 10, 2011



I recently had an article printed in the Alzheimer's Reading Room (great source for information at www.alzheimersreadingroom.com) where I discuss how many commonly used medications will interact with and work against the anti-dementia meds in the cholinesterase inhibitor class (Aricept, Exelon, and Razadyne). There is a classification of drugs called "anticholinergics" that will essentially cancel out the intended therapeutic effects of both drugs when given together. These anticholinergics are found in many types of medications. Here are a few:
  • Antispasmodics, such as Levsin, Donnatal, Bentyl
  • Bronchodilators such as Atrovent and Spiriva
  • Antiemetics such as Dramamine, Bonine and Antivert
  • Antiparkinson drugs such as Kemadrin, Artane, Cogentin
  • Sleep aides such as Sominex, Nytol, Unisom
  • Cough and cold preparations that contain diphendydramine
  • Atropine which is found in some heart medications and eye drops
  • Urinary incontinence meds such as Ditropan, Toviaz, Vesicare and Detrol
I have only listed a few of the brand medications from each category, and there are many, many more. If your loved one is taking a drug that might be in a category, be sure to ask the physician, or the pharmacist about this interaction with their anti-dementia med. With the thousands and thousands of medications out there to choose from, your loved one's healthcare provider may forget about this interaction that will render both drugs useless, so please be sure to check on this when any new medication is introduced even if it's for a simple cough, or a sleep problem.
The other drug classification used for dementia is the NMDA receptor antagonist and that is Namenda. It works in a totally different way than the cholinesterase inhibitors, so it is not affected by these other drugs.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011



I have seen several research articles lately that discuss new evidence that bilingualism is thought to delay the onset of Alzheimer's symptoms. In Medical News Today (http://www.edicalnewstoday.com/releases/235998.php) in mid-October, researchers at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto found huge differences in the brains of bilingual people as opposed to unilingual people. They found twice as much damage in the bilingual brains and despite the fact that both groups were similar in levels of education and cognitive skills, the bilingual people's brains seemed to be able to handle twice the level of atrophy without displaying twice the level of decline. Dr. Tom Schweizer, who headed the research, feels that the constant switching over in the brain from one language to another enhances the creation of more neuronal networks. In this study, they examined CT scans of patients with AD, and he hopes to repeat the study with a larger patient sample and by using MRIs to observe brain changes. He mentions in the article that previous studies through observation found that bilingualism seemed to delay onset of the AD symptoms by about five years, but that this is the first study to actually find the physical proof in the CT scans of the damage and delay.
I keep thinking how nice it would be to be able to speak Spanish, and now I'm thinking I ought to move forward on this and get started!

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Cindy Keith, RN, BS,
Certified Dementia Practitioner

Nationally Known Speaker
On Dementia and Alzheimer's Care

Phone 814-235-0691

Fax 814-235-0695




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