donepezil, which slows progression of Alzheimer's disease,
appears capable of improving memory even in healthy adults,
according to California researchers.
reported in the journal Neurology that they tested the drug
on 18 licensed aircraft pilots with mean age of 52 years,
and that after 30 days of treatment, "the donepezil group
showed greater ability to retain the capacity to perform a
set of complex simulator tasks."
inhibits the ability of the enzyme cholinesterase to breakdown
the brain molecule acetylcholine, a chemical linked to memory,
attention and learning.
appears to have beneficial effects on retention of training
on complex aviation tasks in nondemented older adults,"
the researchers concluded..
of the study, led by Dr. Jerome Yesavage of the Palo Alto
VA Health Care System and Stanford University, suggest that
drugs like donepezil may also have value for the millions
who see their memories deteriorate with age even though they
do not develop Alzheimer's.
of July 14, 2002