Can Donepezil & Memantine Slow the Progression of Alzheimer’s?

By Matt Rogers, 9:00 am on

Many studies have been performed in hopes of finding a way to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, and recent research has focused on 2 drugs that show promise in accomplishing this feat. Pembroke Pines, FL, at-home care professionals want to share some of these findings.

The History of Treating Alzheimer’s

To better understand the current medical options for treating this disease, it is important to look at how the treatments have progressed over the last few decades. Even though the National Institute on Aging has been supporting Alzheimer’s research for over 50 years, the FDA did not approve the use of any medications for this condition until 1993. There are currently 5 different drugs approved to treat Alzheimer’s, including donepezil and memantine.

Modern Alzheimer’s Medications

Alzheimer’s medications fall into 2 different classes: cholinesterase inhibitors and memantine. These medications are designed to delay cognitive degeneration and alleviate the symptoms associated with Alzheimer’s. The primary difference between most forms of Alzheimer’s medication is when they are prescribed. Drugs such as memantine are generally prescribed in the most advanced stages of the disease, while donepezil is prescribed to those with mild or moderate Alzheimer’s. 

Combination Treatments

A 15-year study carried out at the Massachusetts General Hospital Memory Disorders Unit revealed that combining different medications could further slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. The study closely followed 382 people with Alzheimer’s who were separated into 3 different groups. By the end of the study, the group that took a combination of donepezil and memantine had much higher scores on all their cognitive tests. 

The Future of Alzheimer’s Treatments

Both the National Institute on Aging and the Massachusetts Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center are now hoping to fund further studies on combination treatments for dementia-related disorders. Though many of these medications have proven to be somewhat successful, they also produce a variety of unwanted side effects. Seniors with Alzheimer’s and their Pembroke Pines caregivers may want to consider a variety of medical and non-medical treatments for this disease, including adopting healthy lifestyle habits, receiving social stimulation, and taking prescription medication.

To learn about additional studies that show promise in combating Alzheimer’s disease, reach out to Pembroke Pines Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of Alzheimer’s home care. Pembroke Pines seniors can benefit from our revolutionary Cognitive Therapeutics Method (CTM), an activities-based program designed to slow cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia. For more information on CTM and our other elder care services, call (954) 374-8273 to request a no-obligation consultation.

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