welcome to the organic green doctor blog

i am a family physician who was diagnosed with
early mild cognitive impairment(mci) amnestic type on december 21, 2010
this is a precursor to alzheimers disease
because of this diagnosis i have opted to stop practicing medicine
this blog will be about my journey with this disease
please feel free to follow me along this path
i will continue blogging on organic gardening, green living,
solar power, rainwater collection, and healthy living
i will blog on these plus other things noted to be interesting

Friday, September 25, 2020

alzheimers news-these meds may put you at risk


in alzheimers disease the chemical acetylcholine gets depleted
this acetylcholine is used in the nerve endings where nerves connect to each other so the nerve endings will fire

if a nerve cell is damaged this acetylcholine level is lower so the nerves dont fire like they should
in alzheimers disease the end result is a problem with memory
as alzheimers disease progresses the acetylcholine levels go lower and lower and the memory gets worse and worse

the drug i take aricept (donepezil) inhibits the enzyme thats found in the nerve endings so the amount of acetylcholine available in the nerve endings goes up and there is memory improvement
this rising acetylcholine level is also why you see some side effects
if you stare at my calves you will see that my muscles fasciculate 24/7
it basically looks like something is crawling under my skin 
thats the increased acetylcholine in the muscle nerve cells nerve endings causing that

in alzheimers disease the basal forebrain gets attacked first by the disease so the acetylcholine starts to get depleted

now if that person who gets affected just happens to be on one of the 100 or so anticholinergic drugs then that acetylcholine can get even more depleted

a recent article linked here from the american academy of neurology journal called neurology describes a recent study looking at those effects
here is a news report on the study 

anticholinergic drugs are used for allergies and colds and bladder issues and blood pressure control and anxiety and depression
some names you recognize are benadryl claritin allegra zyrtec and other allergy pills and metoprolol and atenolol or other beta blockers and those bladder control meds sold over the counter and as prescriptions

here is a list 

so if you have biomarkers already that are abnormal like the amyloid and tau proteins which many of you do already you just dont know it yet then you already are depleting your acetylcholine
when you add the anticholinergics you are just making it worse
according to the study its 4 x as worse

if you happen to have the apoe 4 gene like i do and like at least 25% of you do then you will be making it 2.5 x as worse

if you take at least one of these drug you have a 47% chance of developing mild cognitive impairment

older folks are more vulnerable to their effects 

a large number of folks on these drugs and with those risk factors will develop mild cognitive impairment the precursor to alzheimers disease

what i would do would be to look closely at the anticholinergic drugs you are taking and decide if you really need them
if you dont really need them then stop them
if you really need them talk to your doctor about alternative drugs
eg a beta blocker blood pressure med can be replaced with a different class of drug
sometimes though folks just have to take an anticholinergic drug then you just have to take it
then you want to be more aggressive about living a healthy lifestyle

here is a list of drugs that have possible and definite anticholinergic effects
dont stop yours without talking to your doctor
some of these drugs have to be tapered off or replaced with another drug

for me
i try to avoid drugs that affect the acetylcholine levels since i already have a deficit in my brain cells
taking an anticholinergic drug could possibly make my memory worse

thats why when you go in for a memory evaluation they look closely at the drugs you take including prescription over the counter herbal and supplements

sometimes folks can stop them and have an improvement in their memory

do not stop taking these drugs without a doctors approval

the organicgreen doctor

No comments:

Post a Comment