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Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat. 2007;3(5):569-78.

Progress update: Pharmacological treatment of Alzheimer's disease.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada.


A number of drugs have been approved for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and a larger number are being studied as possible therapies. The current mainstays of the pharmacotherapy of AD are the cholinesterase inhibitors (donepezil, galantamine, rivastigmine) and memantine. They collectively have acceptable tolerability and proven but modest efficacy. The agents being studied include dietary supplements (eg, vitamin E), herbal preparations (eg, Ginkgo biloba), medications approved for other indications (eg, HMG-CoA reductase enzyme inhibitors) and research drugs. In this review we discuss in detail the approved agents and review a number of the unapproved therapies that are currently available to the practitioner. While our era offers much more in the way of therapeutics for AD, it is clear that more work still needs to be done.


Alzheimer’s disease; cholinesterase inhibitors; drug therapy

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