TREATMENTS for memory
In Canada, there are several available medications aimed to maximize the quality of a patient’s life by slowing down the cognitive decline associated with Alzheimer’s disease. These medications include: Aricept, Exelon, Reminyl, and Ebexa. Several experimental treatments are currently being evaluated in clinical trials, and may be innovative in the prevention and treatment of the disease in the near future. It is important to note that there is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s disease. The treatments available are aimed at slowing down disease progression.
Aricept (donepezil), Exelon (rivastigmine), and Reminyl ER (galantamine) are all medications that belong to a family of pharmaceuticals called « cholinesterase inhibitors ». These medications inhibit the activity of a specific enzyme called cholinesterase, which breaks down acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is produced in the brain, and serves a vital role to facilitate the transmission of messages between neurons. The difference between these medications is in their use in particular stages of disease progression. Aricept (donepezil) is used for the treatment of symptoms at all stages of the disease. Aricept is normally taken once daily, at the physician recommended dose.
Exelon (rivastigmine) is used to treat mild and moderate symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. Exelon is available in the form of a patch, or as a capsule.
rEminyl ER (galantamine)
Another medication belonging to the family of « cholinesterase inhibitors » is Reminyl ER (galantamine), and it is used to treat mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease symptoms. Reminyl ER is taken once daily and it has an extended release into the body. All of these medications aim to slow down the cognitive decline and general functioning.
Another type of medication is Ebixa (memantine). Ebixa belongs to the family of medications called NMDA (N-methyl-D-Aspartate) receptor antagonists. This medication is used to treat moderate to advanced symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, and it works at a cellular level to slow down the loss of memory associated with later disease stages. Ebixa is available in a pill form and is usually taken twice daily.
All of these medications aim to slow down the cognitive decline and general functioning associated with it.