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Dr Karen
Dr Karen, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 75
Experience:  Ph.D. 18+ yrs. All ages .Depression, Anxiety, AD/HD, PTSD, Divorce. Abuse. DID. Women's Issues.
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My girlfriend is 53 years old and has been diagnosed with

Customer Question

my girlfriend is 53 years old and has been diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia possible alzheimers. Is there any medications or treatments available even non fda approved near Hawthorne, NJ 07506? Thank you in advance if you can help.
Ronald Fries
(973) 310 - 3713 ***@******.***
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr Karen replied 6 years ago.
Thank you so much for contacting Just Answer today. My name is***** and I look forward to assisting you today.

I have done some research on Frontotemporal Lobe Dementia and I don't know if you want the low down on what it is or just the medications available.

As for medication - I don't know of anything non FDA - but this is what the experts suggest.

1) Antidepressents - specifically mentioned Trazadone, may reduce some of the behavioral problems associated with FLD. Also selective seratone reuptake inhibitors ( sertraline or escitalopram)are also helpful in some cases, although when I did some snooping around at studies the helpfulness was mixed.

2) Anti Psychotics: Sometimes anti psychotics are recommended (also for the behavioral issues) in older patients (which your girlfriend is NOT in that category) the side effects increase mortality. But as I wrote, your girlfriend is right in the middle of the category for patient age (40-70).

3. Neurotransmitter based drugs analogous to the use of dopaminergic agents in Parkinson disease or anticholinesterase agents in Alzheimer disease, have not proven beneficial in frontotemporal dementia.

4. Donepezil (Aricept), rivastigmine (Exelon), and galantamine (Razadyne) which are often used for Alzheimers are not FDA approved for Frontotemporal Lobe Dementia.
only occasional patients appear to respond. The same is true of attempted treatment with the drug memantine (Namenda), which was FDA–approved in January 2004 for Alzheimer disease. This drug may improve the signal-to-noise ratio of glutamatergic transmission.

5. Stimulant drugs (Amphetamines) do seem to offer some help but again studies are mixed.

I know you are looking for a "cure" not a behavioral medication. And I am so sorry because I have not come up with any legitimate medical cure for it.

I would suggest that your Girlfriend find a therapist to help her with the depression of having a chronic illness that is progressive. She will no doubt experience a lot of depression. Also, if she begins (or already shows) to show symptoms with verbal issues, etc, a physical or verbal therapist might be of help with communication.

I would also suggest that you and she attended therapy together. If you are close with her and will be staying with her as a support person you will need some emotional support yourself. It is vital that you get support so that you don't burn out. I would also suggest that you see if her neurologist knows of any support groups that you (or you and she) can attend to understand the disease process, and where to get help.

You might also find out what her insurance will cover (especially if a neurologist is doing clinical trials somewhere). Ask her neurologist if he or she is aware of any clinical trials - don't rule out out-of-state trials. You never know when there will be a trial out-of-state that will improve her quality of life! Check with National Institute of Health or any of the Mayo Clinics. You can google "CLINICAL TRIALS FOR FRONTOTEMPORAL LOBE DEMENTIA" and see what pops up.

I hope this has been of assistance. If you want information on the disease itself please write back and I will be happy to explain it to you as best as I can.

Thank you so much, and my thoughts are with you and your girlfriend.

Dr Karen
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I was really looking for someone in my area to take her to
Expert:  Dr Karen replied 6 years ago.
Oh I am terribly sorry. If you want I will OPT OUT and why don't I send this to a neurologist who will know more. I apologize for taking up your time with information that you already knew. I wish you much luck.