04 February 2006

Alzheimer Drug Appears Effective for Moderate Disease

Thanks to Neurology Watch News Blog for pointing to a progress report study on Memantine, a novel drug for Alzheimer's Disease. The study was done at NYU School of Medicine, and published in the January 2006 issue of Archives of Neurology. Memantine has been found to be useful for at least a year, for moderate to severe Alzheimer's Disease. That is excellent news for the sufferers from the disease, and particularly for their loved ones. The drug was inexplicably referred to as Namendaandreg at Neurology Watch, but hopefully they will correct the mistake.

"This study demonstrates that it is possible to alleviate some of the cognitive and functional losses associated with the later stages of Alzheimer's, providing a basis for greater optimism on the part of caregivers," says Barry Reisberg, M.D., Professor of Psychiatry at NYU School of Medicine, the lead investigator of the study, which is reported in the January 2006 issue of the Archives of Neurology.

According to this website, Memantine is:
a moderate affinity NMDA-receptor antagonist. Memantine has been developed by Merz Pharmaceuticals and is approved in Europe and the USA for the treatment of moderate to severe Alzheimer's disease. In addition memantine is available in Mexico and in several South American countries.

Efficacy of Memantine
Clinical data on memantine show

Benefit in cognitive and psychomotor functioning
Benefit in activities of daily living
Reduction of care dependence
Excellent tolerability

Memantine produces symptomatic improvements in learning under conditions of tonic NMDA receptor activation in Alzheimer’s disease. In contrast to first generation therapies, memantine is likely to show neuroprotective effects at concentrations used in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and to slow down disease progression.

Go here for more information.

Here is a brief abstract from a scientific article on memantine.

Memantine is also used in vascular dementia. There will likely be many more uses for the drug if it continues to be safe and effective in actual use. Any drug that can minimize Glutamate induced neurotoxicity will probably find much wider use in the future.

In addition, Memantine is related to the anti-Parkinson's and anti-influenza drug, Amantidine.


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