Poorly controlled diabetes may cause a narrowing of the blood vessels in the body. A study conducted by researchers at New York University showed that when blood vessels in the brain are affected, this can lead to decreased blood flow in the area and can affect brain functions and may result in memory loss.
Aricept, with the generic name Donepezil, is an oral medication commonly used in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. Although it has proven somewhat effective in improving memory function in people with Alzheimer’s, its ability to help with memory loss in patients with diabetes is doubtful.
Diabetes and Memory Loss
Since diabetes is a controllable disease, its complications can also be avoided by proper treatment and lifestyle changes. This is why it is important to recognize symptoms of diabetes in order to prevent serious complications from setting in.
Stress experienced by diabetic patients can also increase their risk of developing memory problems, according to a study conducted by researchers from the Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. The study also concluded that people with diabetes have increased chances of developing memory loss compared to those without the disease.
Aricept and Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s disease causes cognitive and mental decline in affected people, with onset usually happening to those in their 60s. The disease usually progress over time, robbing people of their memory and the ability to perform various activities. Aricept is a medication used to treat memory loss in Alzheimer’s disease patients. This drug acts by increasing the numbers of chemicals, known as acetycholine, in the brain so that brain cells can communicate better with each other. It does not treat Alzheimer’s disease itself, but improvements in mental ability have been observed in some patients.
Aricept and Memory Loss Caused by Diabetes
The memory loss caused by diabetes is quite different from the memory loss in Alzheimer’s disease. In Alzheimer’s disease, memory loss is brought about by the breakdown of brain chemicals responsible in keeping an open line of communication between nerve cells in the brain. In diabetes, memory loss is brought about by problems with the blood vessels and circulation. From this logic, even if Aricept can maintain an abundant number of neurotransmitters, it cannot improve memory loss caused by diabetes because the blood supply would still be be affected.
Aricept may also not be compatible with diabetes since one of its more serious side effects include increased frequency of urination, which is already a symptom of diabetes. The use of Aricept in diabetes may further increase the frequency of urination in these patients. Other Aricept side effects include dizziness, nausea, insomnia, weight loss, loss of appetite, joint pain, vomiting, headaches, fatigue and vomiting. As long as there is no study proving the effects of Aricept as a treatment for memory loss due to diabetes, Aricept should not be considered in the treatment of memory loss in diabetic patients.
MedicineNet.com: Medications and Drugs
Mayo Clinic: Donepezil (Oral Route)
Medical News Today: Study Links Memory Loss and Diabetes
BBC News: Stress Linked to Diabetes Memory Loss