Cholinesterase Inhibitors for Alzheimer's Disease
How It Works
Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter (a brain chemical) that helps with memory and thinking. Alzheimer's disease breaks down acetylcholine. And people who have Alzheimer's disease make less of this chemical over time. These two things result in the gradual loss of memory and thinking skills.
Medicines called cholinesterase inhibitors help stop acetylcholine from breaking down. They can help brain cells work better. But they don't stop or reverse the destruction of brain cells and loss of acetylcholine that occur in Alzheimer's disease. They don't prevent the disease from getting worse, but they may slow it down.
These medicines don't make acetylcholine, though. So over time they may stop working.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: October 29, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Reference Myron F. Weiner, MD - Psychiatry, Neurology