UCLA imaging study suggests Alzheimer's drug may help mild memory loss

Jul 30, 2008

Alzheimer's disease is the end result of gradual, progressive brain aging. Positron emission technology (PET) scans of patients' brains typically reveal a decreased rate of metabolism, a hallmark of the disorder.

A small sample of adults with mild age-related memory loss was randomly assigned a daily placebo or Aricept, a drug that treats Alzheimer's symptoms. Both groups underwent PET brain scans before and after 18 months of treatment. The brains of people given Aricept showed an increased rate of metabolism and looked more normal than the brains of those who took the placebo. Both groups scored the same on memory tests, however, implying that PET scans may be more sensitive than neuropsychological tests in detecting drugs' effects.

The research suggests that the treatment of early symptoms of memory loss may protect the brain and help people with mild age-related memory impairment. The finding also shows how PET offers researchers a tool for tracking the effectiveness of drugs prescribed to treat age-related cognitive decline.

The findings will be presented July 30 at the "Hot Topics" poster session of the International Conference on Alzheimer's Disease 2008, hosted by the Alzheimer's Association.

Source: University of California - Los Angeles

Explore further: Melanesian offspring prove less susceptible to malaria

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

In Alzheimer's diagnosis, many heads better than one

Jan 26, 2011

In a marriage of two disciplines that don’t often overlap — politics and medicine — a study by Matthew Gabel, PhD, professor of political science in Arts & Sciences at Washington University ...

FDA panel sees promise in Alzheimer's imaging drug

Jan 20, 2011

(AP) -- A federal panel of medical experts said Thursday a first-of-a-kind imaging chemical designed to help screen for Alzheimer's disease could be useful pending additional study and training for physicians.

Recommended for you

Two expats die of MERS in Saudi commercial hub

Apr 20, 2014

Two foreigners died of MERS in the Saudi city of Jeddah, the health ministry said Saturday, as fears rise over the spreading respiratory virus in the kingdom's commercial hub.

UAE reports 12 new cases of MERS

Apr 20, 2014

Health authorities in the United Arab Emirates have announced 12 new cases of infection by the MERS coronavirus, but insisted the patients would be cured within two weeks.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Scientists make critical end-stage liver discovery

(Medical Xpress)—A team of researchers in the University of Arizona's College of Pharmacy has discovered a molecular pathway that could be key to creating new therapeutics that would slow or even reverse ...

Solving cancer's secrets

Some fathers play ball with their sons. Or take them fishing. Chuck Perou's father took his son to his pathology lab to show him how a pathologist conducts tests and runs experiments. Perou, a nature junky ...

Harm-reduction program optimizes HIV/AIDS prevention

(Medical Xpress)—New research from UC San Francisco and the San Francisco AIDS Foundation has found that clients participating in a harm-reduction substance use treatment program, the Stonewall Project, decrease their use ...

Meth mouth menace

Something was up in Idaho. While visiting a friend in Athol, a small town north of Coeur d'Alene, Jennifer Towers, director of research affairs at the Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, noticed ...