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Women with Alzheimer’s disease saw no cognitive benefit taking raloxifene

November 9, 2015
by Nicole Stempak, Associate Editor
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Raloxifene, a selective estrogen receptor modulator, did not improve cognition for older women with Alzheimer’s disease, according to new findings to be published in “Neurology.”

The pilot study followed 42 women with late-onset mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease. They were randomly assigned to take a high dose (120 mg/d) oral raloxifene or placebo daily for 12 months. After, researchers found no significant difference in the Alzheimer’s Disease Assessment Scale, cognitive subscale (ADAS-cog).

“The take-home message from this relatively small, one-year study is that raloxifene does not have a large, or even a medium, effect on cognition in women with Alzheimer disease,” says Victor W. Henderson, MD, director of the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center at Stanford University to Medscape Medical News. “However, we were not able to exclude the possibility of a small cognitive effect.”

Raloxifene has been reported to benefit verbal memory in older postmenopausal women without dementia. Researchers suggest “future studies might examine raloxifene effects within this cognitive domain more closely.” They caution their findings cannot be drawn for the general population as the sample was small and not reflective of the racial and ethnic diversity.

Read the full study here.

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