Galantamine, a cholinesterase inhibitor 
that allosterically modulates nicotinic receptors: 
effects on the course of Alzheimer's disease

Coyle, Kershaw

Biol Psychiatry 2001 Feb;  49 (3) 289-299


Despite the proven efficacy of acetylcholinesterase inhibitors in Alzheimer's disease, there is a need for new and more effective treatments. Galantamine is a novel treatment for Alzheimer's disease that inhibits acetylcholinesterase and modulates nicotinic receptors. In randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies of up to 6 months duration, galantamine significantly improved cognitive function. Galantamine also had beneficial effects on instrumental and basic activities of daily living, and postponed the progression of behavioral symptoms. Patients who completed one of the 6-month, placebo-controlled studies were eligible to enter a 6-month, open-extension study of the 24-mg/day dose of galantamine. At the end of 12 months, cognitive function and activities of daily living were preserved in those patients who had been treated throughout the study with galantamine 24 mg/day. At 12 months, this group of patients had significantly better cognitive functions than patients who had been treated with a placebo for 6 months before receiving galantamine. These studies indicate that galantamine postpones the progression of symptoms in Alzheimer's disease. Since galantamine shows the greatest benefits when treatment is started early, its long-term benefits may result from an effect on the underlying disease process; such an effect might be mediated by galantamine's concomitant action on nicotinic receptors.

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Research abstracts
  Galantamine: its use in Alzheimer's
  Galantamine: in Alzheimer's patients
acetylcholinesterase inhibition
  Galantamine: therapeutic effects beyond cognition
  Galantamine: benefits to Alzheimer's patients
nicotinic receptors in Alzheimer's
  Galantamine: a study in Alzheimer's  
  Galantamine: its effects on Alzheimer's  
  Galantamine: a new treatment for Alzheimer's
  Galantamine: effect on nicotinic receptor binding
  Galantamine: an allosterically potentiating ligand
  Galantamine: nicotinic modulation in an animal model
  Galantamine: memory & nicotinic receptors in rats  
  Galantamine: a 6 month study: