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.

Related Articles


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 October 24, 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 October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) An emergency room doctor who recently returned to the city after treating Ebola patients in West Africa has tested positive for the virus. He's quarantined in a hospital. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Newsy (Oct. 23, 2014) Conflicting studies published in the same week re-ignited the debate over whether we should be eating breakfast. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Fears Keep Guinea Hospitals Empty

Ebola Fears Keep Guinea Hospitals Empty

AP (Oct. 23, 2014) Fears of Ebola are keeping doctors and patients alike away from hospitals in the West African nation of Guinea. (Oct. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Despite Rising Death Toll, Many Survive Ebola

Despite Rising Death Toll, Many Survive Ebola

AP (Oct. 23, 2014) The family of a Dallas nurse infected with Ebola in the US says doctors can no longer detect the virus in her. Despite the mounting death toll in West Africa, there are survivors there too. (Oct. 23) Video provided by AP
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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