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Treats dementia (memory loss and mental changes) that is a sign of Alzheimer's disease.

UsesSide effectsLatest evidence reviewsResearch summaries for consumersBrand names

Results: 13

Alzheimer’s disease: Do medications containing memantine help?

Medications containing the drug memantine are supposed to help people who have Alzheimer’s disease remember things and better manage their daily tasks. Studies show that memantine can somewhat delay the worsening of mental abilities. Other abilities important to daily life may also last longer.

Informed Health Online [Internet] - Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Version: July 18, 2013

Memantine for dementia in people with Down syndrome

Memantine is thought to improve cognitive function and slow the decline of AD over time.The effects of memantine on AD are reported to be beneficial for people with moderate to severe AD in the general population, However, people with DS tend to present with AD at a much younger age than the general population as well as being physically different in terms of size, metabolism and heart rate, and may therefore have different requirements. Results from the one randomised controlled trial for the treatment of dementia in DS are not yet available (expected 2009).

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2009

Some evidence of efficacy of memantine for dementia

Memantine has a small beneficial, clinically detectable effect on cognitive function and functional decline measured at 6 months in patients with moderate to severe Alzheimer's Disease (AD). In patients with mild to moderate dementia, the small beneficial effect on cognition was not clinically detectable in those with vascular dementia and barely detectable in those with AD. It is well tolerated. Slightly fewer patients with moderate to severe AD taking memantine develop agitation, but there is no evidence either way about whether it has an effect on agitation which is already present.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2009

Medications for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease

There is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s disease. Various medications can somewhat delay the loss of mental abilities and independence. But they can also have side effects. It is not clear whether any of the medications are better than the others.

Informed Health Online [Internet] - Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Version: August 21, 2013

Comparing Alzheimer's Drugs

How do Alzheimer's drugs compare for treating symptoms?

PubMed Clinical Q&A [Internet] - National Center for Biotechnology Information (US).

Version: January 1, 2008

Overview: Alzheimer's disease

Alzheimer's disease is the most common cause of dementia. The disease takes its name from the psychiatrist Alois Alzheimer, who in the early twentieth century was the first person to describe the disease. Over time, people who have Alzheimer’s lose their memory and ability to concentrate. Spatial and temporal orientation become more difficult, and it is also harder for them to manage on their own in everyday life. People who have Alzheimer’s disease will need more support as the disease progresses.

Informed Health Online [Internet] - Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Version: September 18, 2013

Pharmacological agents as symptomatic treatment for memory disorder in people with multiple sclerosis

This is an update of the Cochrane review "Pharmacologic treatment for memory disorder in multiple sclerosis" (first published in The Cochrane Library 2011, Issue 10).

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2014

Drugs to treat phantom limb pain in those with missing limbs

Various medications have been tried in phantom limb pain but good treatment continues to be unsatisfactory. Whether opioids, N‐methyl D‐aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonists (e.g. ketamine, memantine, dextromethorphan), anticonvulsants, antidepressants, calcitonin and anaesthetics are effective in improving outcomes that include pain, function, mood sleep, quality of life, satisfaction and safety, in the short‐ and long‐term, remains uncertain. Morphine, gabapentin, and ketamine provided short‐term pain relief but the findings were based mostly on small studies. The results for calcitonin and anaesthetics were variable. Considerable differences in the drugs, methods, designs, outcomes, outcome measures, follow‐ups, analyses, and reporting/presenting of findings made it difficult to combine results for the interventions and outcomes. Results must be interpreted with caution as these relied on a few studies with small numbers of study participants and lacked long‐term efficacy and safety data. Good quality studies with sufficient sample size, longer follow‐ups and with outcomes that are important to patients are needed to make firmer recommendations to enable good advice on the best pain relief for this patient population.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2012

Treatment for cramps in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/motor neuron disease

A cramp is a sudden, involuntary painful contraction of a muscle. Many people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as motor neuron disease (MND), experience cramps during the course of the disease. These range from mild cramps that do not affect daily activities and sleep, through to very severe, painful cramps. Some medications that are used to treat cramps in people with no medical condition or with conditions other than ALS have been tested in ALS clinical trials. These medicines include vitamin E, creatine, quinidine, and gabapentin. Other medications such as quinine sulfate, magnesium, lioresal, dantrolene, clonazepam, diphenylhydantoin, and gabapentin have been used to treat cramps in people with ALS but their effectiveness is unknown. In 2006 and 2010 the US Food and Drugs Administration issued warnings concerning the use of quinine sulfate, which was the previously most widely prescribed medication for cramps in the US. This review sought to find out how effective medications and physical treatments for cramps are for people with ALS. The reviewers identified 20 randomised controlled trials in people with ALS comprising a total of 4789 participants. Only one trial, of the drug tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), directly investigated the effectiveness of an intervention for cramps. Thirteen randomised controlled ALS trials investigated cramps secondarily among other variables. The medications comprised vitamin E, baclofen, riluzole, L‐threonine, xaliproden, indinavir, and memantine. Six randomised controlled ALS trials investigated cramps as adverse events. The medications comprised creatine, gabapentin, dextromethorphan, quinidine and lithium. None of the 20 studies could demonstrate any benefit, but the studies were small. Current evidence on the treatment of cramps in ALS is lacking and more research is needed.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2012

Alzheimer's disease: How effective are cholinesterase inhibitors?

Cholinesterase inhibitors can slightly delay the loss of mental abilities in people who have mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease. But these medications may also cause nausea, vomiting or dizziness.

Informed Health Online [Internet] - Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Version: July 18, 2013

Alzheimer's disease: Can Ginkgo products help?

Ginkgo biloba could help some people with Alzheimer’s disease to perform daily activities better again. Side effects are rare, but interactions with other medications cannot be ruled out.

Informed Health Online [Internet] - Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Version: July 18, 2013

Antidepressants for agitation and psychosis in dementia

Psychosis and agitation frequently occur in older adults with dementia. Medications are often prescribed to treat these symptoms and antidepressants are increasingly used for these symptoms. We reviewed the evidence for the effectiveness and safety of antidepressants for the treatment of agitation and psychosis in older adults with dementia. We classified antidepressants based on their mechanism of action and included studies that compared antidepressants to treatment with either placebo or other medications frequently used to manage these symptoms. A total of nine studies (including 692 individuals) were identified, four comparing selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) to placebo, three comparing SSRIs to typical antipsychotics, and one study comparing SSRIs to atypical antipsychotics. One study compared the antidepressant trazodone to placebo, and two compared trazodone to haloperidol. Most of the studies included in the review were relatively small and of uncertain risk of bias due to methodological issues. The SSRIs sertraline and citalopram were associated with a modest reduction in symptoms of agitation and psychosis when compared to placebo in two studies. There were few other statistically significant differences in changes in agitation or psychosis or in most measures of medication tolerability for SSRIs or trazodone when compared to placebo or the antipsychotic haloperidol. We conclude that there is some evidence to support the use of certain antidepressants for agitation and psychosis in dementia and further studies are required to determine the effectiveness and safety of SSRIs and trazodone in managing these symptoms.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2011

Neuroprotection (medicines to protect nerves involved in sight) for treatment of glaucoma in adults

We found one study that compared two different eyedrop treatments, given to two groups of adults with low‐pressure glaucoma. One group received brimonidine, a neuroprotective drug. The other group received timolol, a drug that lowers fluid pressure in the eyes. The researchers followed these two groups for four years to see if either treatment really protected the optic nerve and prevented vision loss.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2013

Systematic Reviews in PubMed

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