Alzheimer's drug to help later stage patients

Alzheimer's drug to help later stage patients

A new research has said that a common Alzheimer's drug can help later stage patients and help them stay away from nursing homes.

The research noted that the drug, Aricept is often withdrawn at later stages of the disease.Aricept is the brand name of the drug donepezil and it is widely used to manage symptoms in cases of mild to moderate Alzheimer's. However, the researchers noted that the medicine is not given to people with advanced Alzheimer's disease because it is believed that it does not offer any benefits.

The study shows evidence that the drug should be given to patients and this might convince experts to change policy and make the drug available to more serious patients. The study showed that withdrawing Aricept doubled the chances of an Alzheimer's patient being moved into a nursing home after one year.Experts said that the annual cost of residential care for people with dementia ranges between £30,732 and £34,424 in the United Kingdom. However, a year's supply of Aricept can cost as little as £21.59.

Lead researcher Professor Robert Howard, from University College London, said, "Our previous work showed that, even when patients had progressed to the moderate or severe stages of their dementia, continuing with donepezil treatment provided modest benefits in cognitive function and in how well people could perform their daily activities.Our new results show that these benefits translate into a delay in becoming dependent on residential care, an event that many people dread."

The findings are reported in the Lancet Neurology journal.


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