August 25, 2010

New Treatment for Dementia?

(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- An experimental drug may provide hope for those suffering from dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB).

A drug called Memantine works to block the excessive actions of a brain chemical called glutamate without affecting any normal brain function. Those who suffer from other brain disorders, such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, have seen beneficial effects from the drug, according to researchers.

In a study led by Professor Murat Emre at the Istanbul University in Turkey, nearly 200 patients were randomly assigned to receive Memantine or placebo daily. After 24 weeks of the drug treatment, those suffering from mild to moderate DLB saw a vast improvement versus the patients who received placebo.

"On the basis of the results of this study, memantine might be a treatment option in patients with mild to moderate DLB," study authors were quoted as saying.

SOURCE: Lancet Neurology, August 2010.