Coincidently there was a Namenda study released at the IAFTD conference in Manchester, England a couple of weeks ago. I will copy over the message relating to this announcement from Sharon Denny, program director of AFTD.
A multi-site clinical study of Memantine/Namenda use in bvFTD and semantic PPA that took place over the past few years is complete and the data analyzed. It's not published yet, but was the topic of a presentation at the Manchester conference. The study design could only detect large effects, and concluded "there was no benefit of Memantine/Namenda treatment in bvFTD of semantic PPA". That's not to say there aren't individuals who do experience benefit. Like all med/treatment questions there's variability from person to person. AND you should always coordinate med changes with your doctor; he/she will only be able to help over time if it's a partnership.
For those that aren't that familiar to FTD, there are no medicines made to treat FTD. FTD is untreatable, unstoppable and incurable. Drugs for other illnesses are used in trial and error to combat the symptoms for those suffering with FTD. If a person is under strict psychiatric monitoring, they have a better chance at being successful with the constant changes that are necessary as the brain changes.
Unfortunately, many psychiatrists have become just dispensers for pharmaceutical companies and society has come to believe there is a magic pill for everything. Instead of combining behavioral techniques with medications, they just throw drugs at you. Most times patients leave the docs office unaware of side effects.
I was on up to 17 pills a day while I was misdiagnosed as bipolar. They had me on the harshest antipsychotics, anti-anxiety, antidepressants, sleep aids and others. They weened me off all of them over a 6 week period in the hospital psych ward. No one ever told me getting off some of then would be tougher than getting off Heroin. I was delusional, having hallucinations and all the sufferings some have getting off of pills after years of getting my body abused. Do I blame my doctors? No, FTD was and is a rare disease. Part of my fight now is to try and spread awareness so people don't go through what I went through.
So do I take any med now because a doctor prescribes it. Hell no. Sorry, docs are no longer in God status in my book. Yes, I trust my neurologist Dr. Bell from Columbia implicitly. She knows I've been through the medication circus. What does my Psychiatrist think of me being drug free? I don't know because I fired him for incompetence. He is one of may shrinks that turned me into a drug addict. I went back to see him after a year of being off all meds for a year. He made sure my VNS (Vagus Nerve Stimulator) in my chest was off. I spoke, he listened about my FTD diagnosis. He never heard of FTD, but was glad I was doing well. Guess he hasn't kept up with his studies or missed that class at John's Hopkins.
Many are doing well with drugs and of course there needed in times when the FTD patient might be aggressive and danger to others or themselves. Yes, there are times I feel it would be easier to be on drugs, but I've seen that movie before and am not interested in a rerun. I know plenty of FTD patients who take absolutely nothing like me except vitamins and supplements and are doing fine.
Okay, besides my heart meds I'm on Namenda for FTD to help with a abnormal activity in the brain and help people think clearly. Namenda, which I take twice a day and have been frequently forgetting at night without any repercussions. I checked on the web to make sure there are no ill effects. Withdrawal, uncontrollable giggling, making me a nice guy etc.
After cutting back to a half dose for three days I went totally off. I was scared I was going to grow 6th finger. Where would I find 6 finger gloves.
I stopped taking Namenda/Memantine 5 days ago and have noticed absolutely no difference.
Of course I still take my vitamins, supplements and my weekly rations of red wine.
I was hoping the extreme tiredness/exhaustion I suffer would go away, but so far no. I'm still secretly hoping it's a Namenda side effect and not a FTD thing.
My neurologist is in the loop to me taking myself off Namenda and I highly recommend that any patients that are making any changes with there medicines, coordinate with there doctors.