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Cognitive impairment, Homeopathic medicines

Created date

July 7th, 2017
Small white pellets from a glass bottle on top of a mint leaf.

Homeopathic remedies are manufactured from ingredients taken from animals, plants, or minerals.

Please note: The following questions were submitted by readers. The answers are intended for your general information and should not replace a doctor’s medical advice.


Q: A few years ago, I was diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment and have been taking donepezil. Recently I read that this drug shouldn’t be used for some people with this condition. How do I know if it’s right for me?

A: There was a study published earlier this year about donepezil and patients with mild cognitive impairment showing that people with a gene called BChE-K tended to deteriorate faster from a cognitive standpoint if they took donepezil. Thus, researchers concluded that some patients should consider asking their doctors about being tested for this gene before beginning the drug. Regardless of the study’s results, your doctor or specialist is the best person to talk to about whether donepezil is an appropriate drug for your health and situation. You should discuss the risks and benefits for any medication you are prescribed in order to come to an informed decision. 

Q: What are homeopathic medicines?

A: Homeopathic compounds have been around for 200 years or so. They are manufactured from ingredients taken from animals, plants, or minerals. The medicines themselves can come in many forms, including pills, ointments, or creams. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates homeopathic medicines with regard to marketing practices; however, the FDA has not approved homeopathic remedies as safe or effective. That is because years of research haven’t yielded any reliable scientific evidence about whether they reliably treat any disease or condition. In addition, the basic tenets of homeopathy directly contradict some basic laws of science. For example, homeopathic practitioners believe that the lower the dose of a medicine, the greater its effect. Because seniors tend to take several medicines, they shouldn’t try homeopathic medicines unless they talk to their doctors first. Regardless of claims of being natural, these medicines could negatively interact with another medicine.

Health and wellness experts practice exclusively at Erickson Living communities. Dr. Orlic received his bachelor’s degree from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pa., and his medical degree from New York Medical College in Valhalla, N.Y. He completed his internship and residency in internal medicine at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, N.Y. Board-certified in internal medicine, he joined Cedar Crest in September 2015.