ARICEPT® delays the onset of Alzheimer's among people with mild cognitive impairment

ARICEPT® a popular Alzheimer's drug has been shown to delay the onset of the disease among people with mild cognitive impairment.

ARICEPT® (donepezil hydrochloride) is a reversible inhibitor of the enzyme acetylcholinesterase, known chemically as (±)-2,3-dihydro-5,6-dimethoxy-2-[[1-(phenylmethyl)-4-piperidinyl]methyl]-1H-inden-1-one hydrochloride. Donepezil hydrochloride is commonly referred to in the pharmacological literature as E2020. Donepezil hydrochloride is a white crystalline powder and is freely soluble in chloroform, soluble in water and in glacial acetic acid, slightly soluble in ethanol and in acetonitrile and practically insoluble in ethyl acetate and in n-hexane.

The drug ARICEPT® reduced the risk of developing Alzheimer's among patients diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment, a memory disorder that is often a precursor to the brain disease, according to research released at the 9th International Conference on Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders.

Dr Ronald Petersen of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, who led the study of 769 people, said "the risk reduction lasted for only 18 months of a three-year trial."

When patients taking ARICEPT® developed Alzheimer's they did so about six months later than those taking a placebo.

"This is the first study to demonstrate a positive treatment effect on progression to Alzheimer's disease from MCI," Dr Petersen said. "It looks like the drug had a modest, time-limited effect," he said. "Nonetheless, we are optimistic because we have begun to make progress toward delaying the development of Alzheimer's."

"These encouraging studies show that we need more research to help us answer the question of which cases of MCI are most likely to progress to Alzheimer's, and whether it is justified and effective to begin treating those people with current or future therapies," said Claudia Kawas, M.D., a member of the Alzheimer's Association's Medical and Scientific Advisory Council. "It is vitally important to be able to intervene in Alzheimer's early to delay or prevent the onset of symptoms.

Alzheimer's is a progressive form of presenile dementia that is similar to senile dementia except that it usually starts in the 40s or 50s; first symptoms are impaired memory which is followed by impaired thought and speech and finally complete helplessness

ARICEPT® is available for oral administration in film-coated tablets containing 5 or 10 mg of donepezil hydrochloride. Inactive ingredients are lactose monohydrate, corn starch, microcrystalline cellulose, hydroxypropyl cellulose, and magnesium stearate. The film coating contains talc, polyethylene glycol, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose and titanium dioxide. Additionally, the 10 mg tablet contains yellow iron oxide (synthetic) as a coloring agent.

http://www.aricept.com, http://www.mayoclinic.org/rochester/

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