Currently, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease.

TreatmentResearchers are continually testing the effectiveness of various drug therapies that will control symptoms; slow, reduce and/or reverse mental and behavioral symptoms; and prevent or halt the disease.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved medications known as cholinesterase inhibitors: donepezil hydrochloride (Aricept), approved for all stages of Alzheimer’s disease; rivastigmine (Exelon), approved in pill and patch form for mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease; and galantamine hydrobromide (Razadyne), approved for mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease. These drugs inhibit the enzyme that breaks down the brain chemical acetylcholine, and thereby may help slow the worsening of symptoms.

The FDA has approved memantine HCI (Namenda) for the treatment of moderate to severe Alzheimer’s disease, which may help slow the worsening of symptoms.

The National Institute on Aging, in concert with the FDA, tracks private and government sponsored clinical trials; contact the Alzheimer’s Disease Education and Referral Center or call 800-438-4380.

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