Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Dementia drugs shown to be effective in Chinese clinical trial

Donepezil and galantamine improved cognitive function
 by Michael Woodhead
Acetylcholinesterase inhibitors such as galantine and donepezil are effective in improving cognitive function in Chinese patients, a new study has shown.
The drugs are already considered standard of care for Alzheimer’s disease in western countries. Galantamine is an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor that may also act via allosteric modulation of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. Therefore, it may provide benefits compared with other acetylcholinesterase inhibitors. Therefore, researchers at the Department of Neurology of Peking Union Medical College Hospital compared galantamine with donepezil in a double-blind trial involving 233 patients at nine hospitals in China.
The patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease were treated with either galantamine or donepezil for 16 weeks.
 Alzheimer’s cognitive symptoms  scores improved significantly from baseline in both groups of patients, with a significant difference in favour of galantamine in the “language”  area. Significantly more galantamine-treated patients responded to treatment and showed better cognitive scores. Both treatments were well tolerated, although fewer galantamine-treated patients experienced gastrointestinal adverse events compared with donepezil (30% versus 48%).
The researchers conclude that cognitive function improved significantly in subjects with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease treated with galantamine or donepezil, and both treatments were generally well tolerated. Significant benefits for galantamine over donepezil were observed for language and response to treatment."
Source:  Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment

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