Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Drug Helps Cognitive Function In Brain Tumor Patients After Radiation

Date:
March 18, 2006
Source:
Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center
Summary:
A drug that is marketed to treat Alzheimer's disease also improves cognitive function, mood and quality of life in brain tumor patients following radiation therapy, according to a research team at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center.

A drug that is marketed to treat Alzheimer's disease also improves cognitive function, mood and quality of life in brain tumor patients following radiation therapy, according to a research team at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center.

After the patients were treated for six months with donepezil (trade name: Aricept), there was a significant improvement in their symptoms, the researchers reported in the March 17 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

"Each year more than 15,000 Americans are diagnosed with a primary brain tumors, and as many as 200,000 with metastatic brain tumors, nearly all of whom receive radiation therapy," said Edward G. Shaw, M.D. "For survivors of brain tumor radiation, symptoms of short-term memory loss and mood changes similar to those seen in Alzheimer's disease, as well as fatigue, frequently occur, leading to a poor quality of life."

Donepezil, part of a class of drugs called acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibitors, "has demonstrated efficacy in mild to severe Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia," said Stephen R. Rapp, Ph.D., professor of psychiatry and behavioral medicine and senior author on the paper. It is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for that purpose.

"The results of this initial study encourage continued investigation of donepezil and other AChE inhibitors," Rapp said.

The research team is planning a clinical trial in which treatment of brain tumor patients with donepezil will be compared to an inert placebo, and neither the doctor nor the patient will know which pill they received until the study is completed.

"To our knowledge, this is the first study of an AChE inhibitor or any other drug administered to long-term survivors of partial or whole brain radiation therapy in an attempt to reduce the symptoms associated with a brain tumor and its treatments," said Shaw, professor and chairman of the Department of Radiation Oncology and a co-author.

"The pretreatment assessment of thinking, memory, mood and energy level revealed symptoms that clearly affected quality of life," Shaw said.

The researchers decided to try donepezil after observing that radiation-induced brain injury resembles Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia not only in the clinical symptoms but also in what is seen with brain imaging, particularly with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and positron emission tomography (PET).

The team hypothesized that radiation therapy for brain tumors resulted in injury to neurons that in turn caused a deficiency of a brain chemical called acetylcholine. They thought use of an AChE inhibitor -- such as donepezil -- might increase the acetylcholine level in the brain, decrease cognitive symptoms and improve mood and quality of life. Their study indicated it did.

"Additional research is needed to further evaluate donepezil and other AChE inhibitors in this population." Rapp said.

The other members of the team were Robin Rosdhal, R.N., O.C.N., and Mike E. Robbins, Ph.D., both from radiation oncology, and Ralph B. D'Agostino Jr., Ph.D., James Lovato, M.S. and Michelle J. Naughton, Ph.D., all from public health sciences.



Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. "Drug Helps Cognitive Function In Brain Tumor Patients After Radiation." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 March 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/03/060318232226.htm>.
Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. (2006, March 18). Drug Helps Cognitive Function In Brain Tumor Patients After Radiation. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/03/060318232226.htm
Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. "Drug Helps Cognitive Function In Brain Tumor Patients After Radiation." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/03/060318232226.htm (accessed September 18, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Cost of Ebola

The Cost of Ebola

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 18, 2014) As Sierra Leone prepares for a three-day "lockdown" in its latest bid to stem the spread of Ebola, Ciara Lee looks at the financial implications of fighting the largest ever outbreak of the disease. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
What HealthKit Bug Means For Your iOS Fitness Apps

What HealthKit Bug Means For Your iOS Fitness Apps

Newsy (Sep. 18, 2014) Apple has delayed the launch of the HealthKit app platform, citing a bug. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Residents Vaccinated as Haiti Fights Cholera Epidemic

Residents Vaccinated as Haiti Fights Cholera Epidemic

AFP (Sep. 18, 2014) Haitians receive the second dose of the vaccine against cholera as part of the UN's vaccination campaign. Duration: 00:34 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Elephant Undergoes Surgery in Tbilisi Zoo

Raw: Elephant Undergoes Surgery in Tbilisi Zoo

AP (Sep. 18, 2014) Grand the elephant has successfully undergone surgery to remove a portion of infected tusk at Tbilisi Zoo in Georgia. British veterinary surgeons used an electric drill to extract the infected piece. (Sept. 18) 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:
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