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Study shows Alzheimer’s treatment in late stages slows disease progression

March 9, 2012
by Patricia Sheehan
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Scientists have shown that a drug used to slow Alzheimer’s disease in its early stages also work when the disease has advanced. The study, published in the The New England Journal of Medicine, found that the drug denepezil, used for the treatment of dementia and mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease, may help patients with more severe cases as well.

Past clinical trials have shown the benefits of cholinesterase inhibitors such as denepezil for the treatment of mild-to-moderate Alzheimer's disease. The new study by British researchers aimed to find whether treatment benefits continue after the progression to moderate-to-severe disease.

The findings indicated that for patients with moderate or severe Alzheimer's disease, continued treatment with donepezil was associated with cognitive benefits that exceeded the minimum clinically important difference and with significant functional benefits over the course of 12 months.

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