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J Alzheimers Dis. 2006;9(3 Suppl):439-45.

Tacrine, and Alzheimer's treatments.

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ALZcorp, 6000 Uptown Blvd Suite 308, Albuquerque NM 87110, USA.


The story of the development of tacrine began from its synthesis as an intravenous antiseptic in 1940 by Adrian Albert in Australia. In the 1970's William Summers began using tacrine in treating drug overdose coma and delirium. He felt it might have application in Alzheimer's based on work done in England by Peter Davies. In 1981, Summers et al. gave intravenous tacrine to Alzheimer's patients showed measurable improvement. Between 1981 and 1986, Summers worked with Art Kling and his group at UCLA to demonstrate usefulness of oral tacrine in treatment of Alzheimer's patients. The average length of tacrine use in 14 completing patients was 12.6 months and improvement was robust. This sparked controversy in the field. In 1993, after larger studies replicated the positive effect of tacrine, it was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for treatment of Alzheimer's disease.

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