Dr Art Hister – Drugs for Mild Alzheimer’s Disease

A frustrating but likely accurate analysis of a drug widely-used to treat early (or mild) Alzheimer’s disease concludes that the drug is not effective in these cases.

This new study was published in the highly-respected journal, Archives of Neurology, and in this analysis of several previously published studies about the drug memantine, the authors of this report found that memantine does not slow either memory decline of cognitive function decline in mild cases of Alzheimer’s disease.

It’s a frustrating analysis, as I wrote earlier, because frankly, there are so few drugs that can be used to try to stem the progress of AD, so taking away one that is prescribed by many doctors is well, frustrating, but it’s important to note, especially for those people who believe that anything, even if it’s only slightly effective, is better than nothing when it comes to such a depressing condition as AD, that this is simply not true: using nothing is often a better choice given that all drugs, including memantine, have potential significant side effects and complications associated with their use.

And that’s a very good principle – nothing may be the best choice – to remember for all conditions involving the use of potentially problematic medications, which is why it’s always a great tactic to make very good friends with your pharmacist so that you can ask him or her about those potential risks when you’re put on a new drug.

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