Taking care of a loved one with Alzheimer’s is difficult and extremely stressful. The mechanism of action of memantine is believed to lie in the inhibition of a chemical called glutamate. Answered on Jun 30, 2014 3 doctors agree Medications containing the drug memantine are supposed to help people who have Alzheimer’s disease remember things and better manage their daily tasks. Cholinesterase inhibitors also work to increase communication between cells but target a different neurotransmitter. Make sure the doctor knows what else the person with dementia is taking. A Swedish study in 1999 reported that, ‘The results of the trial support that Memantine treatment leads to functional improvement and reduces care dependence in severely demented patients.”. Memantine is not a cure, but it can slow down the progression of the symptoms in some people. Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, USA. I have read that people have used Memantine for alcoholism but I am unable to find any additional information, do you have any knowledge of this use and any further information? Bisaga A, Evans SM. To my way of thinking, this is a sign that the process of excitotoxicity plays a role in the development of the disease, and thus methods such as Memantine's pharmacological action could be useful as a preventative too.Robert Mason PhD, Gibraltar. Accumulating evidence suggests that the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) type of ionotropic glutamate receptor is a particularly important site of action for ethanol. Namenda (memantine) is approved by the fda for the treatment of moderate to severe alzheimer's dementia. To lower the risk of side effects the daily dosage should gradually be increased from 5mg to 20mg over four weeks. Memantine also did not affect alcohol-induced impairment in performance, physiological changes, or pharmacokinetics. However, memantine will not cure AD or prevent the loss of these abiliti… Memantine prevents excess glutamate from killing cells, without damaging the signal. How does Aricept/Donezepil work? There is rarely a problem with the structure or ‘wiring’ of the brain's 5-HT circuits. Memantine (0, 15, and 30 mg) was administered 4 h before alcohol (1.5 g/l body water), which was given in four divided doses every 20 min. There have been a number of clinical studies into Memantine and Alzheimer’s disease. http://www.antiaging-systems.com/articles/212-centrophenoxine-the-neuroenergizer, http://www.antiaging-systems.com/articles/201-pyritinol-antioxidant-anti-rheumatoid-antioxidant-anti-rheumatoid-arthritis-nootropic. Memantine will be prescribed by a specialist doctor. Other treatments involve inhibiting an enzyme called acetylcholinesterase, which breaks down the brain neurotransmitter – acetylcholine. Rats consuming alcohol voluntarily for a long time show increased alcohol consumption after a phase of alcohol deprivation and this might reflect increased craving for alcohol. Memantine has been reported in studies as being well-tolerated, with few side effects. due to genetics, stress or drugs) DA and NA circuits to encourage over arousal, fear, anger, tension, aggression and violence, obsessive compulsive actions, anxiety and sleep disturbance. Memantine is derived from a naturally occurring compound called adamantine, which is found in teeth and other bony parts of the body.Memantine works in a very different way to most existing drugs used to treat Alzheimer’s. There is no cure for Alzheimer’s. Administration of memantine (1-amino-3,5-dimethyl-adamantane), a clinically used uncompetitive NDMA receptor antagonist, resulted in a significant reduction of the alcohol deprivation effect without any sedative, dysphoric or stimulant side-effects. Copyright 2017 © International AntiAging Systems - Any person who wishes to copy and paste information from the website for publishing on the internet unchanged must do so only with the express written permission of IAS. Memantine could help improve memory, attention, reasoning, and language. Memantine can be taken in addition to other Alzheimer’s drugs, such as Aricept, Exelon and Reminyl (galantamine) as it works in a very different way. NMDAR antagonists attenuate not only the physical symptoms but also some affective and motivational components of alcohol withdrawal. Doctors prescribe Namenda in order to improve the cognitive and memory function of a patient or slow down the progression of the disease. How to Converse with People with Dementia, "Positive Approach" for Emotional Distress. Namenda may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide. It works by regulating the activity of glutamate, a messenger chemical widely involved in brain functions — including learning and memory. The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. What is memantine? Studies with humans and animals over the past 35 years have shown that 5-HT (serotonin) nerve circuits promote feelings of well-being, calm, personal security, relaxation, confidence and concentration. It isn’t a cure (there is no cure for Alzheimer’s or related dementias) but studies have shown memantine treats symptoms by improving memory, awareness, and concentration. Ethanol potently and selectively inhibits NMDA receptors (NMDARs) and prolonged ethanol exposure produces a compensatory 'upregulation' of NMDAR functions. It's taken as a pill or syrup. The site is for educational purposes, medical decisions should not be based on its content and its authors assume no liability for errors or omissions. Other treatments involve inhibiting an enzyme called acetylcholinesterase, which breaks down the brain neurotransmitter – acetylcholine. Memantine is an oral medication for treating patients with Alzheimer's disease. Aricept, Razadyne, and Exelon work in the same way in the brain, while Namenda works through a different system. Memantine (Namenda) is approved by the FDA for treatment of moderate to severe Alzheimer's disease. Aricept is a cholinesterase inhibitor and Namenda is an orally active NMDA receptor antagonist. The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Memantine, however, appears to work by protecting the brain’s nerve cells against glutamate, which is a chemical released in excess by cells damaged by Alzheimer’s or other neurological disorders. Renaissance of NMDA receptor antagonists: do they have a role in the pharmacotherapy for alcoholism? Normally, Evidence for alcohol anti-craving properties of memantine. The following was published in IDrugs. Memantine blocks NMDA receptors, and that’s why it … Rather the problem is caused by a chronic deficit of 5-HT in the nerves which use it as their neurotransmitter. It helps balance glutamate, a brain chemical involved in memory and learning. In clinical trials, memantine out-performed a placebo for patients in these phases of the disease. Memantine is believed to work by preventing this destructive process by blocking the action of  Alzheimer’s glutamate at NMDA receptor sites. It is acetylcholine that is badly affected in Alzheimer’s sufferers. Acute effects of memantine in combination with alcohol in moderate drinkers. The world’s most comprehensive antiaging resource. The brain uses chemical messengers, called neurotransmitters, to pass signals between nerve cells. Please note that S&H costs are per order, not per product. Memantine is different from a cholinesterase inhibitor, which is another kind of medicine prescribed for persons with Alzheimer’s or other dementia (typically in earlier stages). Thank you for your interesting questions regarding alcoholism and memantine. Aricept (donepezil hydrochloride) and Namenda (memantine hydrochloride) are used to reduce symptoms of mild to moderate dementia like that found in patients with Alzheimer's disease. Memantine is used to treat moderate to severe dementia of the Alzheimer's type. Available as pill to be taken daily, memantine enhances “neuron synaptic plasticity,” which is a technical way of saying that it improves communication between brain cells, making it easier for the brain to change and learn, improving a person’s ability to perform the normal daily tasks made too challenging by dementia’s impact on the brain. Nighttime can be especially difficult for someone with dementia (and for caregivers trying to keep that someone safe) and memantine’s effect on the brain is demonstrated to make nights more calm. Many of them are believed to be down to diet – food stuffs such as some artificial sweeteners, flavour enhancers (especially MSG) and even hydrolyzed vegetable proteins. It does not cure Alzheimer's disease, but it may improve memory, awareness, and the ability to perform daily functions. The following was published in Eur J Pharmacol. Memantine, commonly prescribed in the United States under the brand name Namenda, is for people with moderate-to-severe Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia. Forest Laboratories markets Memantine across the United States under the brand Namenda. What does the science have to say about how it works and what it does? Memantine helps avoid the aging effects of overexciting our brain receptors by regulating the activity of glutamate. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem fo… How Does Memantine Work? In addition to being a proven Alzheimer’s Disease treatment, Memantine is useful for treating people who have not been diagnosed with a specific senile dementia, but who have general mental decline. There is high-certainty evidence showing no difference between memantine and placebo in the proportion experiencing at least one adverse event: RR 1.03 (95% CI 1.00 to 1.06); the RR does not differ between aetiologies or severities of dementia. Memantine reduces the actions of chemicals in the brain that may contribute to the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease. 9,12 This inhibition blocks neuronal excitation or CSD and therefore is thought to inhibit migraine pain. Memantine and cholinesterase inhibitors, in fact, can be prescribed together, and studies have shown they may work in tandem to ease symptoms. Aricept is an oral medication taken once daily that stops the breakdown of acetylcholine, a brain chemical that helps nerve cells communicate with one another. Studies have shown that most people taking Namenda will start to see symptoms improve within a few months of taking Namenda. Interestingly, studies have also analyzed whether caregivers saw improvement in their own mental states. Dad has been on first 5 mg of Donezepril since summer 2014 and then to 10 mg about 1.5 years later in 2nd attempt to increase the dose. OBJECTIVE: This study evaluated the acute effects of memantine, an NMDA receptor antagonist, on the subjective, physiological, and performance effects of alcohol in moderate (10-30 drinks per week) alcohol drinkers. As Memantine is known to improve short term memory and concentration in Alzheimer’s sufferers, it follows there are potential uses for other diseases involving cognitive decline. Alzheimer’s glutamate binds to receptors in the brain, allowing calcium to flow freely into the cell, a process known as ‘overexcitation.’ Chronic overexposure to calcium in turn leads to cell degeneration. What scientists found was that subjects studied while taking the medicine still saw a deterioration of their ability to perform daily tasks like brushing teeth or getting dressed, but the deterioration was slower. Still, the main goal of this research was to focus more on Aricept’s effectiveness than Namenda’s. It works by decreasing abnormal activity in the brain. Memantine is in a class of medications called NMDA receptor antagonists. However, Namenda does not cure Alzheimer’s disease or halt the deterioration of the brain. Memantine is a drug approved for the treatment of moderate-to-severe Alzheimer’s disease. Memantine works by blocking the receptors in the brain that glutamate would normally bind to. Aricept, Razadyne, and Exelon work in the same way in the brain, while Namenda works through a different system. These results indicate that memantine may have therapeutical potential as an anti-craving drug for alcohol. Numerous studies have demonstrated its effectiveness for people with mid- to late-stage Alzheimer’s disease. Although in vivo data are few, according to their in vitro efficacy and good tolerability, novel NMDA antagonists, especially the NR2B-selective antagonists, may offer a preferable alternative to the presently available pharmacotherapies for treating alcoholism. Memantine may also be used for purposes not listed in … You may find there differing methods of action interesting, although I do suspect that the improvement is more along the lines of improved memory/ concentration, perhaps as a result of the alcoholism rather than as a preventative to alcohol itself. This causes more damage to the nerve cells. How well does memantine work? Read on to learn more about this drug, its mechanisms, side-effects, and more! Clinical trials have also indicated its benefits as a Parkinsons Disease treatment. If either of these are observed, contact a doctor immediately or seek emergency services. Epub 2003 Oct 3. But again, the benefit overall seems to be fairly modest. Geriatrician added Memantine late July and he was on a 4 week step up and he had a stroke on Day 23 or 2nd day of 4th week. These are the two main conclusions of a 24-week, open-label extension of a 28-week, randomized clinical trial. Other abilities important in daily life may also last longer. Although the drug does improve cognitive abilities as it’s mechanism of action, it is most likely to occur only in the use of individuals suffering from dementia or other brain injuries. Memantine increased the dissociative effects of alcohol, without altering its sedative, stimulant, and overall intoxicating effects. Aricept and Namenda belong to different drug classes. By 42 days, the study reported that, “It was particularly striking in the daily-living tests, of the patients considerable improvement achieved in the quality of performing tasks under Memantine treatment.”, Perhaps most significant of all is Memantine’s performance in late-stage Alzheimer’s disease, where other treatments are currently unavailable. Content cannot be reproduced without permission.©1995-2021. Since 1991 we have been producing articles, magazines and conferences to promote and educate the population on how to maintain optimal health as they age. This decreases the harmful effect of glutamate … 2004 Apr;7(4):339-50. The findings suggest that NMDA receptor neurotransmission may be involved in alcohol craving and alcohol-induced subjective dissociative effects. Namenda (memantine) is postulated to exert its therapeutic effect through its action by blocking nmda receptors. Memantine use should be carefully monitored by your doctor if you have a history of seizures or have recently had a heart attack, kidney disease or untreated hypertension. Severe restlessness has also been shown to be relieved for people who take memantine. Common side effects include dizziness, headache, confusion and agitation. That is why doctors sometimes hope that adding Namenda to Aricept or the other drugs might have an added benefit for patients with moderate or severe dementia. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. Holter SM, Danysz W, Spanagel R. Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, Drug Abuse Group, Munich, Germany. Recent clinical trials have revealed its benefits as a Parkinsons disease treatment, and it is also believed to protect brain and nerve cells in people with alcohol dependence. It is an extremely useful preventative medicine in the war against aging, improving memory, learning and general mental functioning. Namenda works on the brain differently than Aricept does. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so. For mental performance, things like learning and remembering, it was the same: Subjects still got worse but at a slower rate. It works by reducing the amount of a brain chemical called glutamate. In people with moderate to severe Alzheimer’s, memantine seems to provide some benefits, in terms of slowing the deterioration of Alzheimer’s. Disclaimer: Please note that only your own physician can determine your precise needs, but in order to give you some information these answers are based upon the ‘average person’ and clinical / published results. In patients with mild to moderate dementia, onset of improvement can start in as early as 14 days. This antagonist, which has fewer side effects than other NMDA antagonists, is believed to work by competing with magnesium in the synapse, which inhibits the prolonged influx of calcium. 5-HT neurons can, and frequently do, however, suffer a deficit of the raw material from which neurons normally produce 5-HT: the essential amino acid tryptophan (Tryp). Long-term alcohol exposure leads to the development of alcohol dependence, which is possibly induced by changes in specific neurotransmitter functions. To this end, the aminoacids L-tryptophan and 5HTP (5-hydroxy-tryptophan) have been used to ‘treat’ alcoholism, although that may be more along the lines to treat the ‘obsessive compulsive disorder.’ We have two articles about these aminoacids which do mention something about this in them, as follows: http://www.antiaging-systems.com/articles/93-l-tryptophan-natural-prozac, http://www.antiaging-systems.com/articles/18-5-htp-prozac-s-true-alternative. Namenda (memantine) reduces the actions of chemicals in the brain that may contribute to the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease. A French study involving 321 geriatric patients in 2002, summed up its findings after 28 weeks of treatment, by saying: “Patients with mild to moderate dementia had improved cognition consistently at 20mg/day Memantine, with no deterioration in functioning and behaviour.” It added, “Memantine was devoid of concerning side effects.”, Memantine is quick to take effect, and in a study of 66 patients, aged 65 to 80, all suffering from mild to moderate dementia, significant improvements were noted after just 14 days. It’s part of a class of drugs known as cholinesterase inhibitors. Medicare Part D, which covers prescription drugs, and Medicare Advantage, which is tailored through a private insurer to fit the specific patient, should both cover the cost of Namenda (or generic equivalent) if it is prescribed by a doctor. What is memantine, and how does it work (mechanism of action)? That is why doctors sometimes hope that adding Namenda to Aricept or the other drugs might have an added benefit for patients with moderate or severe dementia. Memantine may interact with some other drugs such as Dextromethorphane, Cimetidine, procainamide, hydrochlorothiazide, anticholinergics, anticonvulsives, barbituates or dopaminergic antagonists like L-dopa or Parlodel (bromocriptine). Memantine and cholinesterase inhibitors, in fact, can be prescribed together, and studies have shown they may work in tandem to ease symptoms. Memantine protects nerve … Other medications used for Alzheimer's disease affect acetylcholine, one of the neurotransmitter chemicals that nerve cells in the brain use to communicate with one another. Signals communicated across brain cells essentially enable us to think, learn, and remember. A neurotransmitter called glutamate helps this process by carrying the signals across cells, but patients with Alzheimer’s have too much glutamate, and the excess throws the process awry, damaging the cells, even killing them, and muddling the message. It is a useful anti-aging agent in general, providing improvements in memory, attention, reason and concentration. Namenda is used to treat moderate to severe dementia of the Alzheimer's type. Studies show that memantine can somewhat delay the worsening of cognitive (mental) performance. The drug memantine is a safe and effective therapy that helps patients suffering from moderate to severe Alzheimer disease for up to a year. That said, watch for fatigue, aches, dizziness, nausea, and constipation. Glutamate has been shown to cause deterioration of neurons (brain cells) through a chemical process called neuroexcitatory damage. Memantine works by blocking the NMDA receptors in the brain. What Is Memantine and How Does It Work? A deficiency of 5-HT nerve action has been shown to manifest as a broad array of emotional and behavioral problems, ranging from depression, premenstrual syndrome, anxiety, alcoholism and overeating to compulsive gambling, fire-starting, thrill-seeking through violence and suicide. Common Questions and Answers about Does memantine work namenda Hey everyone, I have tried many different ocd drug therapies, but have yet to try a glutamate modulating therapy such as Memantine (Namenda), Riluzole (Rilutek), N-acetyl cysteine, or amantadine. Encouraging experimental results have been obtained with novel uncompetitive (memantine and neramexane (Merz & Co GmbH/Forest Laboratories Inc)), glycine site and NR2B subunit-selective NMDA antagonists (SSNAs). In addition, the following two Nootropics (Centrophenoxine and Pyritnol) have also been used in Europe to help “control” alcoholism. Nagy J. Gedeon Richter Ltd, Pharmacological and Drug Safety Research, PO Box 27, Budapest 10, H-1475 Hungary. Memantine is used to treat the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease (AD; a brain disease that slowly destroys the memory and the ability to think, learn, communicate and handle daily activities). Memantine is a prescription drug used to treat moderate to severe confusion (dementia) related to Alzheimer's disease. (It did not work for someone in the early stages of dementia.) Namenda was approved by the FDA in 2003 and is available as a tablet, a solution, and an extended-release capsule. Glutamate plays an essential role in learning and memory by triggering NMDA receptors to allow a controlled amount of calcium to flow into the nerve cells. It is thought that this may help to slow down the damage to brain cells affected by Alzheimer's disease. It is also used “off-label” to treat dementia, ADHD, PTSD, and other psychiatric conditions. One study, conducted using a double-blind, placebo-controlled method, concluded that Memantine was safe and effective in treating Alzheimer’s, vascular and mixed dementia of varying severity. Memantine HCL is not known to cause addiction but, used in high dosages and in conjunction with other substances, can lead to dangerous side effects. DementiaCareCentral.com was developed with funding from the National Institute on Aging (Grant #R43AG026227). Recently emerged NR2B SSNAs (CP-101606 (Pfizer Inc), Co-101244 (Pfizer Inc/Purdue Neuroscience Corp/Senju Pharmaceutical Co Ltd), CI-1041 (Purdue Neuroscience Corp/Pfizer Inc) and indole-2-carboxamide derivatives) have demonstrated excellent in vitro potency against withdrawal-induced cytotoxicity. The other drugs work by combating the breakdown of a neurotransmitter known as acetylcholine. 20mg per day of Memantine is the recommended dosage, gradually increased from 5mg to 20mg over four weeks. 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