Donepezil Could Delay Alzheimer’s Patients Move into Nursing Home

Donepezil Could Delay Alzheimer’s Patients Move into Nursing Home
U.K. researchers, headed by the Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, have found that donepezil administered during the later stages of Alzheimer’s might temporarily decrease the likelihood that someone will need to move into a nursing home. The study report, entitled "Nursing home placement in the Donepezil and Memantine in Moderate to Severe Alzheimer's Disease (DOMINO-AD) trial: secondary and post-hoc analyses," appeared October 26 in the medical journal The Lancet. Right now Donepezil (called Aricept in the U.S.) is one of the only drugs approved for Alzheimer's disease. It is used for people with mild to moderate Alzheimer's, and acts by increasing the levels of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. A second drug called memantine is recommended for use in people with severe Alzheimer’s. The study, called DOMINO-AD (Donepezil and Memantine in Moderate to Severe Alzheimer’s Disease), enrolled a total of 295 study participants from England and Scotland, all of whom had moderate to severe Alzheimer’s disease and had been taking the drug donepezil for a minimum of three months. A minimum dose of 10mg donepezil per day for at least the last six weeks was required, and study participants lived at home either alone or with a family member. DOMINO-AD was intended to determine if donepezil could help people with severe Alzheimer’s, either alone or with
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