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Two Are Better Than One for Alzheimer’s Treatment

You know how two heads are better than one - well two drugs are better than one for treating the middle stage of Alzheimer’s. This week’s Journal of the American Medical Association published the important study - the first to combine two drugs that are FDA approved for treatment of AD.

Until last year the only drug available for treating Alzheimer’s was donepezil, known as Aricept, which is an anticholinergic (works by inhibiting the breakdown of acetylcholine, a chemical involved in learning and memory). Then Memantine, recently FDA approved for moderate to late stages, belonging to a whole new class of drugs known as receptor antagonists, which means it inhibits certain brain receptors, protecting brain cells against further damage leading to more decline, arrived on the scene.

In this study conducted by Dr. Pierre Tariot at the University of Rochester Medical Center the group taking both drugs as opposed to just Aricept showed marked improvement in everyday function relating to memory, language and attention in just three weeks. Those patients were more independent in activities for daily living like eating, walking, personal hygiene, grooming, communicating, using the telephone and engaging in hobbies. In addition, patients were less depressed and agitated. This dramatic finding provides enormous relief not only for Alzheimer’s patients, but for their caregivers!

Debbie Mandel, MA is the author of Turn On Your Inner Light: Fitness for Body, Mind and Soul, a stress-reduction specialist, motivational speaker, a personal trainer and mind/body lecturer at Southampton College. She is the host of the weekly Turn On Your Inner Light Show on WLIE 540AM in New York City , produces a weekly wellness newsletter, and has been featured on radio/ TV and print media. To learn more visit: www.turnonyourinnerlight.com

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