- Question from Ireece: Is there a medication for this memory problem?
- Answers - Patricia A. Ganz, M.D. At this point in time, there is not a specific medication that I would recommend, although some studies are being conducted with the drug Provigil (chemical name: modafinil). This is a drug that is approved for the treatment of narcolepsy, a condition where people have trouble staying awake. It makes them more alert. Clinically, this is being tested for individuals who have difficulty thinking clearly after treatment. I've seen some patients who have used it for treatment of fatigue and memory and concentration problems. At this point in time, this is not an FDA-approved usage for this drug.
Marisa Weiss, M.D.
If you are having persistent difficulty with your memory and being able to think clearly, you may need to be evaluated by a neurologist (an expert on the nervous system including function of the brain). These doctors have a lot of experience helping people improve their memory with lifestyle changes, mind exercises, and even medication. An experienced neurologist may have additional ideas.
Editor's note: If you have persistent problems with memory loss and clear thinking, consult a neurologist. Special tests can be done to better understand the nature of your situation, called neuropsychological testing. A medication used for memory issues for patients with Alzheimer's disease, Aricept (chemical name: donepezil HCI), may also be considered for patients with other illnesses—but only with careful expert evaluation and management.
- Patricia A. Ganz, M.D. A neuropsychological exam may help in making recommendations because [neurologists] are used to being with people with brain injuries.
The Ask-the-Expert Online Conference called Thinking and Memory Challenges featured Patricia A. Ganz, M.D. and moderator Marisa Weiss, M.D. answering your questions about the memory and concentration challenges that can happen during and after breast cancer treatment.
Editor's Note: This conference took place in August 2006.
The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of Breastcancer.org. A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.
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