Dementia Medication Overview (cont.)
Richard J Caselli, MD
Mary L Windle, PharmD
Nicholas Y Lorenzo, MD
Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD
Helmi L Lutsep, MD
IN THIS ARTICLE
Treatment for Dementia
Acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibitors like tacrine (Cognex), donepezil (Aricept), galantamine/ galanthamine (Reminyl), and rivastigmine (Exelon) are approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treatment of Alzheimer disease. They may be useful for other similar diseases causing dementia (for example, Parkinson disease). Unfortunately, improvement is neither dramatic nor permanent.
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Perhaps the most important challenge in treating dementia is identifying cases (albeit uncommon) of reversible dementia such as chronic drug intoxication, vitamin deficiencies (B-12 and folate), subdural hematoma(s), major depression (causing forgetfulness), normal pressure hydrocephalus (NPH), and hypothyroidism.
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