The Need for New Therapeutic Options in Alzheimer's Disease
Several prescription drugs are currently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (US FDA) to treat symptoms of mild to moderate Alzheimer’s dementia. Treating the symptoms alone can provide comfort, dignity, and independence for a period of time, and can also give relief to both caregivers and families.
Acetylcholinesterase inhibitors (AChEIs) are drugs that are commonly used for the treatment of mild to moderate dementia in individuals with Alzheimer’s. However, they cause side-effects that limit the ability to tolerate an effective dose or to stay on therapy. These medications are usually started at a low dose, and the dose is gradually increased over a time period that can last up to three months (called the “titration stage”). During this time, a person’s cognitive ability continues to decline.
Early diagnosis and continuous treatment with AChEIs have been shown to improve cognition and function, leading to a longer time living independently, delaying placement in a long-term care facility.