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12:00 AM
 | 
Sep 29, 2003
 |  BioCentury  |  Product Development

Remembering the mechanisms

All four drugs marketed for Alzheimer's disease (AD) in the U.S. act by the same mechanism: they inhibit acetylcholinesterase (AChE), increasing the function of cholinergic neurons. Memantine, which was reviewed by the FDA's Peripheral and Central Nervous System Drugs Advisory Committee last week and is marketed in Europe, works by a different mechanism: it is an NMDA receptor agonist that acts to normalize the functioning of glutamatergic neurons. As a result, combining the different approaches may turn out to be synergistic.
AD is characterized by alterations in neurotransmitter concentrations and the functioning of multiple kinds of neurons. Long term alterations in neurotransmitter...

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