Research Institute's Sabbagh studies new use for Alzheimer's drug

26 August 2005

Sun City, Arizona – Results of a study involving another use for an Alzheimer's disease medication were published recently in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease (JAD).

Marwan Sabbagh, M.D., neurologist and director of the Cleo Roberts Center for Clinical Research at the Sun Health Research Institute (SHRI), was published recently in JAD for a study involving the FDA-approved drug Namenda (memantine) from Forest Pharmaceuticals in the treatment of Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB).

The article is "The Use of Memantine in Dementia with Lewy Bodies" by Marwan N. Sabbagh, Ann Marie Hake, Sahir Ahmed and Martin R. Farlow. It appears in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, Vol. 7, Number 4 published by IOS Press.

DLB is recognized as the second most common form of dementia with clinical and pathological features that distinguish it from Alzheimer's disease. “It's a hybrid of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease,” explains Dr. Sabbagh, “and currently, there are no FDA-approved treatments for this disease.”

Disease characteristics of DLB include visual hallucinations, progressive decline in functional and cognitive abilities, mild parkinsonism often without tremor, neuroleptic sensitivity and clinical fluctuations. DLB progresses more rapidly than Alzheimer's disease and has prominent visual-spatial abnormalities.

While Namenda has been used to successfully treat moderate-to-severe Alzheimer's disease and some non-Alzheimer's dementias, no reports had been available previously regarding the effect of the drug on DLB.

That is until Dr. Sabbagh asked the question “Could Namenda possibly work as a treatment for DLB?” and led the first study on Namenda for DLB involving other medical professionals from the Department of Neurology, Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis .

The study included 11 participants that met a diagnosis of probable or possible DLB. All had progressive cognitive decline and parkinsonism. Seven of the 11 participants were stable or improved with Namenda, resulting in the overall conclusion

that Namenda might be used safely in patients with DLB, but its symptomatic effects can vary.

“This study was important in determining the possible response from Namenda when it was not known previously,” Dr. Sabbagh says.

SHRI's Cleo Roberts Center for Clinical Research takes laboratory discoveries to the next stage to validate new treatments through clinical trials. The center is a leading facility in recruitment, quality control and accuracy for dozens of clinical trials since the Center's founding in 2000.

In less than a generation of painstaking investigation, scientists at the internationally recognized Sun Health Research Institute in Sun City , Arizona , northwest of Phoenix , have developed breakthroughs for some of the most debilitating age-related diseases affecting seniors.

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Full text of the article mentioned above is available upon request. Contact to obtain a copy.

© 2005 IOS Press. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use prohibited.

About the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease

The Journal of Alzheimer's Disease ( ) is an international multidisciplinary journal to facilitate progress in understanding the etiology, pathogenesis, epidemiology, genetics, behavior, treatment and psychology of Alzheimer's disease. The journal publishes research reports, reviews, short communications, book reviews, and letters-to-the-editor. The journal is dedicated to providing an open forum for original research that

will expedite our fundamental understanding of Alzheimer's disease.

About IOS Press

Commencing its publishing activities in 1987, IOS Press ( ) is a rapidly expanding scientific, technical, medical and professional publishing house focusing on a broad range of subject areas. Headquartered in Amsterdam , IOS Press publishes approximately 100 new books per annum and 70 international journals, covering topics ranging from computer science and mathematics to medicine and the natural sciences. Electronic access to all journals is now available. IOS Press also maintains offices in the Washington , DC area and Berlin and a co-publishing relationship with Ohmsha, Ltd ( Tokyo ).

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