New Medication for CFS Cognitive Impairment?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by mezombie, Nov 14, 2006.

  1. mezombie

    mezombie Member

    While the following abstract only mentions MS, the article itself does include CFS. Unfortunately, I can't get the entire article on the web.

    Still, the fact that Donezepil (aka Aricept), a medication FDA approved for memory problems in Alzheimers, is being considered for the cognitve problems MS patients experience is promising.


    J Clin Psychopharmacol. 2000 Jun;20(3):350-6. Links
    A 12-week, open trial of donepezil hydrochloride in patients with multiple sclerosis and associated cognitive impairments.Greene YM, Tariot PN, Wishart H, Cox C, Holt CJ, Schwid S, Noviasky J.
    Department of Psychiatry, University of Rochester Medical Center, New York, USA. ygreene@neotonus.com

    Cognitive dysfunction occurs in up to 65% of patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), but there is no effective treatment for the symptoms. The authors conducted a 12-week, open-pilot study to assess the efficacy and tolerability of donepezil HCl administered in patients with MS and cognitive impairment. Seventeen patients at a long-term care facility with Mini-Mental State Examination scores of < or = 25 received 5 mg of donepezil HCl for a 4-week period, followed by 8 weeks of 10 mg of donepezil HCl. Cognitive, neurologic, functional, and behavioral assessments were conducted at baseline and at 4 and 12 weeks. Statistically significant improvement was observed in several cognitive domains including attention, memory, and executive functioning, as well as different aspects of behavior. These data suggest that donepezil HCl merits further study as a potentially viable treatment option for patients with cognitive impairment associated with MS.

    PMID: 10831023 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

    [This Message was Edited on 11/15/2006]
  2. mezombie

    mezombie Member

    You inspired me to look into the uses of Aricept further!

    Maybe you can take a copy of this to your neurologist. I'll certainly let my neurologist know about this when I see him!

    I'm sure one of our doctors should be able to get a hold of the whole article.
  3. mezombie

    mezombie Member

    I know you're out there!
  4. quilp

    quilp New Member

    What areas of cognitive dysfunction are mentioned ? How might the treatments help.
    One thing that always confuses me is the difference ( if there is one ) between cognitive dysfunction and what people refer to as 'brain fog'
    Since getting CFS ( ME as we call it in the UK ) I have struggled to read a book, watch TV, go on the internet; and this for 11 years. It is so upsetting and frustrating.
    At my very worst I couldn't even listen to the radio, I couldn't absorb any stimulus without feeling ill.
    Regards, Mark
  5. mezombie

    mezombie Member

    These were specifically mentioned in the abstract as improving with Aricept.

    Attention and memory are more or less self-explanatory. Of course, attention problems can vary from a type of attention deficit disorder to a complete failure to be attentive.

    "Executive Function" refers to the ability to organize, plan, initiate, process information, comprehend information, make decisions, learn new information, and develop new and original thoughts.

    "Brain fog" means different things to different people.

    Quilp, what you're referring to sounds like sensory overload to me. I have that, too, and it's my worst symptom. I take minute quantities of Clonazepam for this. By minute, I mean I use a pill splitter to chop a .5 mg tablet into quarters, or less. You know you've taken too much if you get sleepy! Dr. Cheney has been recommending this for years, and I do feel it helps.

    It's not clear whether Aricept would help with sensory overload or not. I wish I could get a copy of the whole study! If I do, I'll let you know.
  6. deliarose

    deliarose New Member

    my cognitive problems are clearing right up on transfer factor and glutathione.

    I know we're not all dealing with the same issues, but if your illness was triggered by a virus, and there's any chance you could be suffering from a stealth infection, I would encourage you to look into this treatment.

    I had all the usual cognitive problems, and they're evaporating as I get my viral load down.

    It's only been 2 months, but I feel like I am dealing with the root cause of my illness, and all the symptoms are slowly, (I stress slowly) resolving.

    It's no quick fix, but it does seem to be working for me.

    Delia
  7. carebelle

    carebelle New Member

    I also had this very bad in the beginning I could not do the things you said .My Life was like everything raced around me.
    My memory was terrible.After several years My mind started getting better .I do not know why things just got better.Now I deal with mostly pain.If I get over stressed those things will start happening again.But not as bad as the beginning.

    I was put on a medication that help stop the brain from raceing it was called Gedon ,It may have calm things down.I still can not read a book but I can short stories.I also can get on my computer.
    I think you need something to calm your thoughts and lots and lots of rest.

    I hope this helped you
  8. just thought carebelle might find this humorous (I hope)..

    When you mentioned Geodon, a light bulb went off in my head,

    About a year ago, my poor sister, who suffers from bi-polar disorder, PTSD, borderline personality disorder,etc, became her psych doc's guinea pig...EVERYTHING he put her on, turned her into a drooling zombie, she went from 115lbs to over 170--IN THREE MONTHS!!! She'd NEVER weighed over 115, and is still battling the weight, I think she's around 148 or so now, she *was* nearing 180 at 5' tall.

    Anyways--for the humorous part.....he'd put her on Geodon to counteract some side effects of the other (wretched horrible meds!).....That stuff for her was like crack!
    (but in a good way-we hadn't even seen her awake, showered, etc forever! FINALLY she was A W A K E!)

    Anyways, me & our friend were afraid to get in the car with her after the Geodon! She was WIRED! Pedal to the medal, and the phrase of that summer became "SLOW DOWN Geondon Andretti!" lol. (as in Mario Andretti the racecar driver) she became "geodon andretti" & that was her affectionate nickname...

    Sure wish something would kick me into life that well. Everything comes with side effects though. She began dangerously sweating in the summer, even at night, when it was not that hot, and her blood pressure was through the roof, and her ENTIRE body swelled so bad, it looked as if you could pop her face, arms, legs, wrists, etc with a pin & they would explode. Go figure. Is there even such a thing as "a good thing" anymore... *sigh*

    Now she's not on any meds, and so far, she's doing pretty well, I have to say. I hate to say it, but I think partly, it's because she hasn't had time to even think about herself, she has had to care for our mother (lives with her & our stepdad), and then she's always over here taking me to this doctor, that doctor, or caring for me at home...I think it's been healthy for her, though...the moving about...

    Certainly better than horrible weight, swelling, blood pressure, and mostly drooling like a zombie--on all the other meds they gave her...she couldn't stay awake for a solid hour. Whew..

    Anyways, it's odd what can trigger thoughts in our minds, and we need good memories, a chuckle, etc...and you, totally without meaning to, or knowing it, triggered a humorous, fun thought, back when my sis would take me out for drives when I was on Glutathione treatments 3x's a week..

    So, even w/out trying ty soo much for giving me a smile.

  9. quilp

    quilp New Member

    Thanks carebelle and mezombie. There is a part of me that feels relieved that other people experience the same specific symptoms ( setting aside ofthers ) but upon reflection I begin to feel sad that others are afflicted in the same way.
    To not be able to read a good book, especially if you love reading like I do, is a blow that few can imagine the depths of, unless they have experienced the illness first hand.
    One note of encouragement from myself is that in the last three weeks I have made a remarkable recovery of sorts, due to my clinician treating me with some Chinese herbs for Yeast infection in the intestine. I hope to post more about this in the coming days.
    Mark x
  10. carebelle

    carebelle New Member

    I was on it long enough to slow my brain but then I was so sleepy I couldnt stay awake.

    I think all of the meds I have tried Put on weight. Ive gain another person .I do not have a split personality but hey theres two of me as far as my weight LOL
  11. mezombie

    mezombie Member

    Geodon is prescribed for schizophrenia and bipolar mania, from what I've read. No thanks. I'll stick with my Klonopin, which I've been taking without any problems for 15 years.

    Transfer Factor may work as an immune system modulator. There have been reports of it causing autoimmune disease. I've always had some signs of autoimmunity, but it's never progressed to any known disease, like Lupus. And I'd like to keep it that way.

    I gave myself intramuscular glutathione/ATP injections for six months, with no effect.

    So for me, at least, knowing that researchers are looking at different uses for drugs that help with memory and thinking give me <b>hope</b>.

    I miss my brain!
  12. spacee

    spacee Member

    I printed it out. Right now I am getting by with NADH but if push comes to shove, I want to have the info to give my doc.

    I appreciate it so much!

    Spacee
  13. carebelle

    carebelle New Member

    schizophrenia and bipolar mania I do not have either .Doctors use meds all the time for things they were not made for but they have found help other conditions.

    I had what you call a schizophrenia Episode, where I heard voices at night in my sleep .This also helped with my anxiety.I was told that happen because my serotonin was low thank goodness this med helped .But I am not Dx with schizophrenia or Bipolar .Let me tell you after going threw that experence my heart does go out to people that live in those condition.
  14. EllysGramma

    EllysGramma New Member

    Hi Zombie - You posted this a while ago. I was looking for any messages about the loss of brain function. My Dad had Alzheimer's and my cognitive impairment, which was evaluated extensively four years ago and descibed as "severe", is getting worse. I'm scared. I find myself doing things that remind me of the kind of thing my Dad did and it scares the *$%^# out of me!

    I recently went through further testing to try to figure out if what I have is due to CFS or the beginnings of Alzheimer's. I did some research on the net and 'severe cognitive impairment' in CFS was described as being like the early stages of Alzheimer's. What I can't find is any info about if/how it progresses if it's due to CFS.

    Either way I'm afraid of what the future holds for me. I'm only 57. My Dad was in his mid-seventies when he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. He died when he was 87.

    I could be on a long downward slide. God help me. I'm so scared. My family acts like there is nothing wrong with me and they definitely don't want to hear how I feel. Or how scared I am. I'm so grateful for places like this where I can vent to people who know what I'm talking about.

    Thanks for listening.

    Vicki
  15. elliespad

    elliespad Member

    For anyone considering taking Aricept, please read the following, which I did a cut & paste from Dr. Mercola's website. In spite of its' hype, there is a dark side to this (and any) drug.

    Drug Trials Turn Deadly


    Two clinical drug trials have had disastrous results for the participants, leaving a number of volunteers either dead or hospitalized.

    11 Dead

    Japanese drugmaker Eisal announced 11 patients died during a trial for Aricept, a cholinesterase inhibitor, which was being tested as a treatment for vascular dementia. None of the patients who received a placebo, rather than Aricept, suffered any ill effects.

    6 Critically Ill

    Six men also fell critically ill after a clinical trial of the anti-inflammatory drug TGN1412. Four of them are showing improvement, but two remain in critical condition.

    The test marked the first time the drug had been given to human subjects, and the six volunteers it was administered to had to be admitted to intensive care almost immediately.

    The Elephant Man

    After taking the drug, a once healthy 28-year-old man in critical condition has a face so swollen he looks like the "Elephant Man," according to a loved one. He participated in the trial, which paid $3,500, in order to pay bills.

    BBC News March 16, 2006

    Yahoo News March 15, 2006