Current symptomatic relievers for Alzheimer’s disease have low efficacy and commonly have serious side effects which can pose significant health issues for patients.
Two categories of drugs are prescribed today for reducing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease: cholinesterase inhibitors and NMDA agonists. Cholinesterase inhibitors such as Aricept ® (donepezil) Exelon ® (rivastigmine) and Razadyne ® (galantamine) prevent the breakdown of acetycholine in the brain. NMDA antagonists such as Namenda ® (memantine) and Namzaric ® (memantine and donepezil) block the toxic effects of excess glutamate in the brain.
Common side effects of these drugs include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle cramps, fatigue, dizziness, confusion, headache, muscle weakness, decreased appetite, indigestion, weight loss and anorexia.
A study of cholinesterase inhibitors and NMDA agonists published in Journal of Therapeutic Advances In Neurological Disorders concluded: “It is obvious that drugs currently used for the treatment of AD (Alzheimer’s Disease) have weak beneficial effects on cognitive function.” (1)
The Alzheimer’s Association projects the worldwide cost of Alzheimer’s care will reach $1 trillion in 2020. Since mitigating symptoms will reduce the cost of care, symptomatic relievers represent a significant opportunity. An effective product without side effects could benefit millions of patients and command a large market.
(1) Yiannopoulou KG, Papageorgiou SG. Current and future treatments for Alzheimer's disease. Therapeutic Advances In Neurological Disorders. 2013 Jan;6(1):19-33. doi: 10.1177/1756285612461679.
PubMed PMID: 23277790; PMC3526946.