Alzheimer's disease drug treatment

J. K. Cooper, Dan M Mungas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Tacrine may be useful for treating Alzheimer's disease (AD). Its mechanism of action is cholinesterase inhibition, leading to increased brain acetylcholine. Several other AD drugs are in Phase III development. Drugs currently being tested or used for Alzheimer's disease can be grouped into two major categories, those to preserve cognitive function, and those to control abnormal behaviors. Cholinesterase inhibitors belong to the first category, along with drugs to maintain neuron metabolic function, and drugs to reduce neuronal toxins. Drugs to control abnormal behaviors include neuroleptics, anxiolytics, anti-aggression drugs, and serotonin-active drugs. No drugs developed so far have hope of curing AD, but several may be useful in treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5-18
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Geriatric Drug Therapy
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Anti-aggression drugs
  • Antidepressants
  • Anxiolytics
  • Neuroleptics
  • Nootropics
  • Tacrine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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