Alzheimer's disease is a slowly developing neurodegen-erative disease that produces a progress loss of memory and cognitive function, that is, dementia. These functional changes appear to result primarily from the loss of cholinergic transmission in the neocortex. The four cholinesterase inhibitors that have been approved for use in the palliative treatment of Alzheimer's disease are tacrine, donepezil, rivastigmine, and galanthamine. These agents can cross the blood-brain barrier to produce a reversible inhibition of AChE in the CNS. These compounds produce modest but significant improvement in the cognitive function of patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease, but they do not delay progression of the disease. Donepezil, rivastigmine, and galanthamine are as effective as tacrine in increasing cognitive performance but do not share tacrine's hepa-totoxic effects.
Was this article helpful?
The comprehensive new ebook All About Alzheimers puts everything into perspective. Youll gain insight and awareness into the disease. Learn how to maintain the patients emotional health. Discover tactics you can use to deal with constant life changes. Find out how counselors can help, and when they should intervene. Learn safety precautions that can protect you, your family and your loved one. All About Alzheimers will truly empower you.