Drugs for ADHD, new allies in the treatment of Alzheimer’s?

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Some of the drugs given for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) They could also serve to improve some symptoms of Alzheimer disease. This is clear from the preliminary data of an investigation that includes the Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery & Psychiatry and in which Alzheimer’s patients who received ADHD medications obtained “a small but significant benefit in the performance of the cognition and brain function“, according to the results.

The team, coordinated by Michael Davidfrom the Dementia Research Institute at Imperial College London, UK, reviewed the results of 19 clinical trials carried out between 1980 and 2021 which included more than 1,800 patients with Alzheimer’s disease or mild cognitive impairment.

The work has focused mainly on the activity of noradrenergic drugsamong which, in addition to some antidepressants, there are also those administered in ADHD such as atomoxetinehe methylphenidate and the guanfacina and that were used to treat thinking, memory and other psychiatric disorders in people affected by this neurodegenerative disease.

These medications focus their action on norepinephrinea neurotransmitter key to cognitive processes such as attention, learning, memory or preparation for action.

Precisely, in the first phases of the disease of Alzheimer’s is when noradrenergic alterations originate, responsible for the development of cognitive and neuropsychiatric alterations. “This fact suggests that the noradrenergic system could be a good pharmacological target“, David considers.

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