I know nothing about Aricept but have done some reading about “Namenda”. I think it is also known as memantine.
Quoting from the MS New Insights and Trends info Dunman posted in another thread:
In the neurodegenerative phase of the disease, excessive amounts of glutamate are released by lymphocytes, microglia, and macrophages.27 The glutamate activates various glutamate receptors (AMPA and kainate receptors), and the influx of calcium through ion channels associated with different glutamate receptors may cause necrotic damage to oligodendrocytes and axons.
It’s my understanding memantine is a glutamate antagonist. If
it’s true that the damage to myelin, axons and neurons in MS is in part attributable to glutamate toxicity, then memantine may be a promising neuroprotective agent for MS. This recent article
identified memantine as “the drug already on the market” to treat brain disease.
A clinical trial of memantine for cognitive disorders in MS
was recently initiated. The clinical trial info also provides some rationale for it and I understand the Dallas site is in the process of coming on line.
Memantine and MS also have an interesting history IMO. With respect to an EAE study, Memantine Ameliorated Neurological Deficits but Not CNS Inflammation
Memantine, a clinically employed drug with N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonistic effects, dose-dependently ameliorates neurological deficits in Lewis rat experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). Interestingly, this therapeutic effect was not due to dampened CNS inflammation….
Later research suggested that Memantine Modulated BBB Dysfunction and Neurological Deficits in EAE
We have provided further strong evidence in support of a role for the NMDA receptor in the development of EAE and, in particular, the loss of BBB function and recruitment of inflammatory cells. Moreover, memantine is therapeutically efficacious, suggesting the NMDA receptor as a viable pharmacological target for future treatment of human neurological conditions such as multiple sclerosis.
Memantine has also proven useful in treating nystagmus associated with MS. This study
seems to support an earlier study of nystagmus in MS patients
All 11 patients with fixational pendular nystagmus who were given memantine, a glutamate antagonist, experienced complete cessation of the nystagmus.
Here’s some general information about memantine. Memantine: Pharmacological Properties and Clinical Uses
All of this to say it seems to me that if
glutamate toxicity is part of the injury cascade in MS, memantine could be a promising therapeutic and neuroprotective agent for us. I was personally elated to find the clinical trial for cognitive disorders was already in progress.
Hope this gives you some “insight” about Namenda (memantine.) I haven’t actually read enough about its side effects to know if it might be the cause of the problems you’re experiencing though. Sorry.
Sharon (excited about the possibilities of memantine and can you believe it's not a hormone