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Alzheimer's Disease

What Can We Expect?

09/20/2011

Question:

My father was recently diagnosed with Dementia with Lewy Bodies. His neurologist prescribed sinemet when he suddenly stopped walking, and Serroquel for his difficulty sleeping. What should we expect fromt these meds? What complications should we be looking out for?

Answer:

Sinemet is often used to help with improved ambulation and walking. You will know very quickly in a few days if this medication is helping. The dose can easily be adjusted up or down to effect. Possible side effects of Sinemet may include hallucinations, false beliefs, and wanting to move too much. Seroquel is often used for false beliefs, hallucinations, paranoia, and agitation related to those issues. It can have some sleep promoting effect but typically would not be used just for sleep as there are many other medications that can help with sleep with less side effects. The dose typically can be very small (25-75 mg) in patients with dementia with Lewy bodies. Possible side effects include Parkinsonism, falls, weight gain, increased sugar level, and increased triglycerides.

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Response by:

Douglas W Scharre, MD Douglas W Scharre, MD
Clinical Associate Professor of Neurology
Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University