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Symptoms of late-stage Alzheimer's can be delayed

发布时间:2019-03-01 01:10:03来源:未知点击:

AT LAST, some good news for people with Alzheimer’s. Those in the later stages of the disease can benefit from taking donepezil and memantine, which delay the onset of more severe symptoms. Earlier evidence suggested that only people with mild to moderate symptoms benefited from the drugs, so doctors often halt treatment in the later stages of the disease. Now, Robert Howard at King’s College London and colleagues have shown that people with advanced Alzheimer’s benefit too. They gave either one or both of the drugs to 285 people with Alzheimer’s, who were already taking donepezil but had reached a point where they would normally stop. The drugs delayed decline by four months in those who continued with one or both for the following year, compared with those on a placebo (The New England Journal of Medicine, vol 366, p 893). “It makes a huge difference – between being able and not able to feed yourself, for example,” says Clive Ballard, director of research at the Alzheimer’s Society in the UK. As a bonus, a cheaper generic version of donepezil was launched last month. Since it was first published, this article has been updated to correct Clive Ballard’s job title More on these topics: