Dementia is term for drastic loss of cognitive ability (ability to think and to be aware of the surroundings and to react and interact accordingly, impairment of memory) in a person who previously had no such troubles. It may be caused by some sort of brain injury (static dementia) or it can be a long term decline caused by damage or disease (progressive dementia). It can affect anyone, but it is most common in the elderly people.Alzheimer's disease
Alzheimer's disease is the most common cause of dementia. It is a serious, terminal disease that is presently incurable. Causes of the disease are still poorly understood, but it appears to be, among other things, in close connection, with disability of the organism to synthesize sufficient amounts of acetylcholine, substance vital for transmission of neural impulses in both central and peripheral nervous system.
In some cases, symptoms of dementia caused by Alzheimer disease can be soothed by increase in quantity of acetylcholine. This is achieved by application of substance known as donepezil. However, use of donepezil can have side effects and is not recommended for everybody.Precautions
If you are allergic to some of its components, you should not use it. If you are pregnant or breast-feeding, are on a prescription or non-prescription medicine or treatment, have allergies, or are prone to heart problems, lung problems, digestive tract problems, asthma or have trouble urinating, you should consult a specialist before you begin to take donepezil. Same applies to people that have brain tumors or brain lesions or suffer from Parkinson's disease or epilepsy. Donepezil also poorly interacts with anti-inflammatory and some other drugs, and if you are already on some sort of medication, consult a health care provider to determine whether it is safe to use donepezil and those drugs simultaneously.Side effects
Use of donepezil can cause, among others, trembling and mumbling, headache and insomnia, depression, hallucinations, confusion, hostility, and emotional liability. It is also known to cause haemorrhaging between the skull and brain or bleeding in the brain, localized coldness, gait, muscle spasm, decrease in libido, paranoia and emotional withdrawal. Also, there were cases of convulsions, delirium and worsening of Parkinson's disease. There are also known problem with urinary and genital tract related to donepezil usage. Muscle cramps and back pain were also reported, as well as bone fractures and muscle weakness. It often causes vomiting, nausea, diarrhea and anorexia, as well as bleeding in various places in the gastrointestinal tract.