While it past the clinical trial. Hundreds of

While no cure or totally effective medication has yet been
created, there are a number of memory loss medications with FDA approval and on
the market at this time. These medications can only help manage the symptoms
and, in few cases, slow down the rate of progression of the disease.
(alzheimers.ie, n.d.)51However, these medications can be unpopular
because of their unpleasant side effects which can be particularly tough on
older people with the disease. (National institute of aging, 2017)52

Current medications on the market in the United States of America:


Generic name

Brand name

Approved for



All stages



Mild to moderate



Mild to moderate



Moderate to severe

Donepezil + Memantine


Moderate to severe

(alz.org, n.d.)53


These available treatments are only
the small percentage that make it past the clinical trial. Hundreds of
different compounds are produced in labs with the hope of finally finding the
cure to this disease however, there has been no such luck yet. Below are a few
of the experimental drugs that are being tested and examined today:















Used to treat the
symptoms of Alzheimer’s by improving memory of patients, However, does not
slowdown or stop the disease in any way.



This drug is used to
treat Alzheimer’s and several other nervous system diseases. This drug is
isolated from plants from the Amaryllidaceae
family such as the Caucasian snowdrop, the daffodil and the red spider







Used f the treatment
of mild to moderate due to Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. The
drug can be administered via transdermal patch which can lessen the intensity
of the side effects. the latter form reduces the prevalence of side effects.





Memantine is used to treat moderate
to severe Alzheimer’s disease. It acts on the glutamatergic system by blocking NMDA receptors. This drug has also been used to treat patients with
anxiety disorders, ADHD, OCD and various other neurological disorders.

Chemical formula:  C12H21N










The first three drugs on this list,
Donepezil, Galantamine and Revastigmine are all a form of drug which are called
acetylcholinesterase inhibitor. These are drugs that
stop or slow down enzymes from breaking down acetylcholine when it is
transported between two cells. Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter which helps
to transport signals across the nerves synapses to anther nerve. This means
that the low levels of acetylcholine present in alzheimers patients brains,
diminishes at a slower rate which results in higher concentrations of
acetylcholine, leading to increased communication between nerve cells, which in
turn, may temporarily improve or stabilise the symptoms of dementia. Some
people who take cholinesterase inhibitors experience side-effects. Side-effects
from these drugs are most common when someone first administers them but,
fortunately, they often settle down with time. The most likely side effects are
diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting, muscle cramps, lowered blood pressure, insomnia,
fatigue and loss of appetite. Other reported side effects include falls and
dizziness. If the dose is increased gradually the likelihood of side effects is
lower. When prescribing these drugs, the doctor must ensure they are aware of
the patient’s medical history because they can be harmful in people with a
history of peptic ulcers, asthma, liver or kidney disease, or a very slow heart
rate. (dementia australia, 2006)54











The fourth drug on the list,
Memantine, is a different type of drug which acts on the glutamatergic
system by blocking NMDA receptors.
An increased level of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA)
receptor hypofunction within the brain is associated with the symptoms of
Alzheimer’s such as memory loss and psychosis. As the brain ages, the NMDA
receptors become progressively slower, contributing to decreases in new memory formation
and learning performance. In order to restrict this progressive
deterioration of the NMDA receptors, Memantine works by regulating the activity
of glutamate which is a chemical involved in the processing of new information
and the storage of new memory. Glutamate plays an essential role in learning
and memory by triggering NMDA receptors to let a controlled amount of calcium
into a nerve cell. The calcium helps create the chemical environment required
for information storage. Excess glutamate, however, overstimulates NMDA
receptors so that they allow too much calcium into the nerve cells. That leads
to disruption and death of cells. Memantine protects cells against excess
glutamate by partially blocking MNDA receptors. (Alzheimer’s asociation, n.d.)55










The last drug on the list is a combination of Donepezil and
Memantine which is commercially called Namzaric. This is subscribed in moderate
to severe cases of Alzheimer’s but can have serious side effects such as slower
heartbeat, nausea , increased production of stomach acid which can increase
risk of bleeding and stomach ulcers, and in some cases, seizures.
People taking Namzaric may see an improvement in cognition and brain function
overall, and a temporary delay in the worsening of symptoms. Unfortunately, as
with all Alzheimer’s medications on the market today, there is no evidence of
this drug stopping or curing the degenerative disease in any way. (Alzheimer’s
asociation, n.d.)56


51alz.org, n.d. Medications for memory loss. Online
Available at: https://www.alz.org/alzheimers_disease_standard_prescriptions.asp

52Alzheimer’s asociation, n.d. FDA approved treatments of Alzheimer’s. Online

Available at: https://www.alz.org/dementia/downloads/topicsheet_treatments.pdf

53alzheimers.ie, n.d. Treating dementia. Online
Available at: https://www.alzheimer.ie/Living-with-dementia/I-have-Dementia/Treatments.aspx

54dementia australia, 2006. Drug treatments for Alzheimer’s disease. Online
Available at: https://www.dementia.org.au/files/helpsheets/Helpsheet-DementiaQandA01-CholinesteraseInhibitors_english.pdf

55National institute of aging, 2017. How is alzheimer’s disease treated. Online

Available at: https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/how-alzheimers-disease-treated


Fig.56) What is Donepezil. Retrieved from http://donepezil.com/

Fig.57) What are Acetylcholinesterase inhibitors. Retrieved
from https://peaknootropics.com/using-acetylcholinesterase-inhibitors-nootropics/
Fig.658) Treatment of Alzheimer’s. Retrieved from https://www.slideshare.net/WIWomensHealth/franczak-presentation