New hope for Alzheimer's patients. A German drug called Memantine could help slow the disease.
Reseachers at the New York University School of Medicine, studied about 250 patients in 32 different centers in the U.S. All the patients were given either Memantine or a placebo for six months. The findings in the New England Journal of Medicine suggest that Memantine could slow the deterioration of the brain by 50% or more.
"Memantine works on the more severe stages of the disease, the stages of the disease associated with the greatest patient distress and the greatest caregiver burden," says Barry Reisberg, New York University School of Medicine.
The theory is that patients with Alzheimer's produce more of a chemical called Glutamate in the brain, and Memantine blocks other cells from reacting to this excess of Glutamate, thereby protecting the brain from its damage.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is currently reviewing Memantine for use in the U.S. For more information, you can ( click here ).
Publications: April 3rd, 2003 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine