Alzheimer’s: studies show the effectiveness of psychiatric drugs

Apathy, characterized by a state of indifference and lack of interest, is one of the most common symptoms of dementia.

Photo: Freepik

Apathy, characterized by a state of indifference and lack of interest, is one of the most common symptoms of dementia. (Photo: Freepik)

Although it is a relatively common disease – which affects more than a million Brazilians, according to the Ministry of Health – Alzheimer’s disease is incurable. However, there are drugs designed to control symptoms and slow the progression of the disease, and more and more studies are looking to find more effective drugs. For this, in addition to the development of new drugs, researchers are evaluating the ability of some already existing and used for other diseases to act for Alzheimer’s. Recently, two new studies have shown the benefits of substances for psychiatric disorders in relieving the symptoms of dementia.

Scientists from Imperial College and University College, both in London, and the University of Cambridge, also in the UK, analyzed 10 studies, with around 1,300 participants, and identified that the noradrenergic drugs, commonly used for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), such as Ritalin, promoted a “small but significant” improvement in general cognition, including memory, fluency and language in people with Alzheimer’s disease.

For those responsible for the analysis, the results suggest that using the drugs to treat people with mild cognitive impairment can bring a range of benefits, particularly because the drugs have been shown to be safe in clinical practice. The studies, which followed patients receiving the drugs for periods ranging from two weeks to a year, also indicated a significant improvement in patients’ apathy.

Apathy, characterized by a state of indifference and lack of interest, is one of the most common symptoms of dementia. According to scientists, noradrenergic drugs lead to a dramatic increase in the neurotransmitter norepinephrine in the brain, and studies have already shown that it plays an important role in mediating the area responsible for motivation and decision-making. The analysis was published in the Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery & Psychiatry last week.

Shortly before, another study, conducted by researchers at the University of Colorado, in the United States, and published in the scientific journal Alzheimer’s Research & Therapy, indicated that the antidepressant imipramine and the antipsychotic olanzapine are equally effective in reducing the symptoms of the disease. , in a way that more significantly.

β€œPeople who received these drugs developed better cognition and actually improved their clinical diagnosis. Compared to those who did not take these drugs, they reversed Alzheimer’s disease to moderate-to-mild cognitive impairment, or moderate-to-mild cognitive impairment.”