Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Medication May Slow Progression Of Alzheimer Disease

Date:
June 18, 2003
Source:
Indiana University
Summary:
A medication used to treat the symptoms of mild-to-moderate Alzheimer disease may actually do more - it may be able to delay progression of the disorder, according to a study conducted at the Indiana University School of Medicine.

A medication used to treat the symptoms of mild-to-moderate Alzheimer disease may actually do more - it may be able to delay progression of the disorder, according to a study conducted at the Indiana University School of Medicine.

The study, which appears in the June issue of Archives of Neurology, enabled researchers to evaluate a change in cognition observed in patients who prematurely discontinued treatment with placebo or Exelon (rivastigmine tartrate), a medication prescribed for many patients.

"If Exelon only had an effect on the symptoms of the disease, we would have expected rapid deterioration in patients' cognition to the level observed in the placebo group after treatment withdrawal, but that was not the case with this study," notes Martin Farlow, M.D., professor of medicine at the IU School of Medicine and director of the Alzheimer Clinic at Indiana University Hospital.

So what did Dr. Farlow, principal investigator and lead author of the study, and his colleagues discover?

"We found that patients who received Exelon before withdrawing from the study showed significantly less cognitive decline than placebo-treated patients, suggesting a possible effect in delaying the biological progression of Alzheimer's."

At 26 weeks after discontinuing treatment, the patients who initially had used the medication showed less cognitive decline than patients who had stopped taking the dummy medication.

Exelon is a cholinesterase inhibitor, a laboratory-produced agent designed to enhance memory and other cognitive functions by influencing certain chemical activities in the brain. One particular chemical - acetylcholine - is released by one brain cell to transmit a message to another cell. Once a message is received, enzymes are broken down for reuse.

In the Alzheimer-afflicted brain, the cells using acetylcholine are damaged or destroyed, resulting in lower levels of the chemical messenger.

"Cholinesterase inhibition is the most extensively researched and best therapeutic approach for the symptomatic treatment of Alzheimer disease, providing clinical benefits presumably through an increase of acetylcholine levels and enhancing neurotransmission," Dr. Farlow said.

Alzheimer disease is a neurodegenerative disorder - and the most common form of dementia - mainly characterized by the progressive and irreversible loss of nerve cells located in specific brain areas. It attacks the brain and results in impaired memory, thinking and behavior. There is no known cure for this disease, which affects four million in the United States and more than 10 million worldwide.

Other investigators participating in the study were Steven Potkin, M.D., of the Brain Imaging Center at the University of California-Irvine; and Dario Mirski, M.D., Barbara Koumaras and Jeffrey Veach, Novartis researchers in East Hanover, N.J.

Exelon, manufactured by Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp., was approved for consumer use by the Food and Drug Administration in 2000.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Indiana University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Indiana University. "Medication May Slow Progression Of Alzheimer Disease." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 June 2003. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/06/030618075716.htm>.
Indiana University. (2003, June 18). Medication May Slow Progression Of Alzheimer Disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/06/030618075716.htm
Indiana University. "Medication May Slow Progression Of Alzheimer Disease." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/06/030618075716.htm (accessed August 2, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Texas Quintuplets Head Home

Texas Quintuplets Head Home

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 1, 2014) After four months in the hospital, the first quintuplets to be born at Baylor University Medical Center head home. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Patient Coming to U.S. for Treatment

Ebola Patient Coming to U.S. for Treatment

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 1, 2014) A U.S. aid worker infected with Ebola while working in West Africa will be treated in a high security ward at Emory University in Atlanta. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Vaccine Might Be Coming, But Where's It Been?

Ebola Vaccine Might Be Coming, But Where's It Been?

Newsy (Aug. 1, 2014) Health officials are working to fast-track a vaccine — the West-African Ebola outbreak has killed more than 700. But why didn't we already have one? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Links Certain Birth Control Pills To Breast Cancer

Study Links Certain Birth Control Pills To Breast Cancer

Newsy (Aug. 1, 2014) Previous studies have made the link between birth control and breast cancer, but the latest makes the link to high-estrogen oral contraceptives. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins