Last week, there was an article in the news regarding some research findings around the possible benefits of Donezepil in the later stages of dementia.
Currently the drug is prescribed to people in the early and mid stages as it was thought to have little benefit for those in the late stages. However new research has found that it may indeed benefit those in the later stages and save money by delaying admission to care homes.
Jim Taylor from Radio 5 live called me while I was on the train going down to London to see if I’d take part in a live discussion around lunch time. My first thought was that it would be just my luck to go through a tunnel as the live broadcast started ………..however we decided to give it a go and see if the line was good enough.
My view was that It’s good news that they’re continuing to look into the benefits of donezepil past the early and mid stages as it’s a relatively cheap drug to use.
As someone in the early stages and on the drug myself I would be reluctant to have to stop taking it at any stage simply because no one knows how you would react to not being on it
It’s difficult to prove that we’re benefiting now from being on the drug as who knows what we’d be like without it but I certainly wouldn’t want to be the one to stop taking it in order to find out. Donezepel is also a relatively cheap drug, so if any benefits are seen it should be used as it would save money in other areas.
It’s great that they’re now finding benefits to remaining on the drug in the late stages but what it clearly shows is the need for more research – we always seem to be relying on small possibilities of hope at the moment. It would be really good if large scale studies could be done to categorically identify the benefits.
Also on the programme was Dr Doug Brown from Alzheimers society as the study being talked about was funded by the society. He was saying how it’s promising news but reiterated what I said about the need for far more research. Dr Doug states on the Societies website:
“Alzheimer’s Society has pledged to spend at least £100 million on dementia research over the next decade – more than ever before – but if we’re going to improve the quality of care, develop better treatments and ultimately cure dementia we need politicians to pledge continued commitment and set out an ambition to create a step change in research funding.”
Possibly a glimmer of hope for those of us already taking the drug……….