Namenda for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by RB, Jul 10, 2008.

  1. RB

    RB New Member

    I'm wondering if anyone has had any experience with this medication for their child with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) of any type. It's an off label use of a medication used for Alzheimers. I know it is being researched but I would welcome personal experiences.

  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    My son is on the spectrum and it was never suggested. I would wonder why a drug for Alzheimers would help kids with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) as they are completely different. Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) kids don't have memory deficits the way Alzheimer's patients do. They may have a little trouble with short term memory, a bit like ADHD. But that's only some Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) kids. Mine doesn't miss a trick. Is that the same as Articept (spelling wrong).
  3. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I don't know much about it but the last time my difficult child (who is bipolar not Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)) it was talked about as an option. We didn't end up using it but I can't remember why right now.
  4. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Is there another name for it?
    I have heard of Provigil being used for AS and Alzheimers, as it helps concentration and focus.
  5. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I actually like the idea of trying out Alzheimer's medications on Aspies or even ADHD because there are some similiarities ... but I'd like them tried on animals first, for obvious reasons.
    This is all very new.
    If you try something off-label, just be sure to watch your child very closely.

    Some of the drugs deal with-protein plaques and some deal with-glutamate.

    My dad uses Namenda.
    It was a miracle drug for him. He started out with-Aricept (which was also a miracle drug ... I mean, one day with-o it and you KNEW he had missed a dose). When the Aricept started to lose its effectiveness, Namenda was added to it.

    Here's some website info on it:
    "Namenda works in an entirely different way than other approved Alzheimer's medications. It targets glutamate which is thought to be associated with the brain's ability to learn and remember.
    Glutamate is a chemical in the brain that has been associated with learning and memory. Abnormal glutamate activity in the brain may lead to Alzheimer's disease symptoms. Namenda may help improve normal glutamate activity. This is believed to be important for learning and memory. "

    Here's more info:

    "Because there are so few known certainties regarding Alzheimer's disease, research is underway in almost every aspect of the disease. However, much of this research focuses on easing mental and behavioral symptoms. The following is a brief description of what's new in Alzheimer's disease research:
    • Damage to parts of the brain involved in memory may be seen on brain scans before symptoms of Alzheimer's disease occur. Researchers are looking at such changes in a large study, the AD Neuroimaging Initiative, to determine if brain imaging can help predict the onset or possibly monitor the progression of AD.
    • The enzyme Cdk5 helps form the neurofibrillary tangles that are characteristic of AD. Researchers believe that inhibiting Cdk5 might prevent formation of the neurofibrillary tangles and are now testing a variety of compounds against the enzyme.
    • Folate may decrease the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease, according to a recent report. Researchers found that those patients who had a higher intake of both dietary folate and folate supplements had a reduced risk of developing AD. However, the authors concluded that although this is a positive finding, the decision to increase folate intake to prevent AD should await further reports and clinical trials.
    • Gene therapy is being studied by a group of investigators at the University of California. A group of researchers from Indiana University are also attempting to identify the exact genes that are responsible for causing AD.
    • A popular cholesterol-lowering medication, Zocor, has been studied for its possible benefits in slowing the progression of AD. It has been shown to have a mild reduction in beta amyloid production for patients in early stages of AD. Lipitor is currently being studied for its possible benefits in AD as well.
    • Another cholinesterase inhibitor, physostigmine, may improve memory in healthy subjects by decreasing the time normally needed to complete tasks and by improving activity in a specific part of the brain. However, side effects of this drug, including nausea and vomiting, may limit its usefulness.
    • Research is underway for a nasal vaccine that theoretically would decrease the amount of plaques developed with Alzheimer's disease and would ultimately lead to continued communication in the brain. The vaccine is inhaled through the nose, in a manner similar to the way many asthma and allergy medications are used.
    • Researchers are also studying the effects of selegiline (Eldepryl, Somerset) and vitamin E in treating Alzheimer's disease. The oxidation of brain cells is considered a possible mechanism of the disease, and both vitamin E and selegiline are considered to have antioxidant properties. So far, studies have shown that selegiline and vitamin E may delay disease progression. Today, many physicians use Vitamin E in combination with other treatment options for AD.
    • It has been suggested that the decline of estrogen production in postmenopausal women may place women at greater risk for developing Alzheimer's disease. Results of a recently completed trial did not support the use of estrogen replacement therapy in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. However, future studies are underway to determine if estrogen has a role in preventing or delaying the onset of AD.
    • Evoxac, an agent approved by the FDA to treat dry mouth in Sjogren's Syndrome (an autoimmune disease that affects moisture-producing glands such as salivary and sweat glands) has been shown to reduce levels of the protein beta-amyloid in Alzheimer patients. The effects of this medication on thought process and long-term disease progression are currently being assessed. "