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Senior Health Week: Alzheimer's Disease
Health News You Can Use •

Alzheimer News:

Alzheimer Drug Also Helps Memory of Healthy Adults

The drug donepezil, which slows progression of Alzheimer's disease, appears capable of improving memory even in healthy adults, according to California researchers.

The 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."

Donepezil inhibits the ability of the enzyme cholinesterase to breakdown the brain molecule acetylcholine, a chemical linked to memory, attention and learning.

"Donepezil appears to have beneficial effects on retention of training on complex aviation tasks in nondemented older adults," the researchers concluded..

The results 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.

Source: Alzheimer Week of July 14, 2002

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