Alzheimer's Disease: A Treatment Strategy

Lou Pagnucco lpagnucco at delphi.com
Wed Jan 25 23:14:16 EST 1995

In responding to Jim Rice, <jarice at delphi.com>,
Dr. Kimmo Hatanpaa <hatanpaa at helix> writes:
>You say the medical literature has proven that effective
>treatment for AD is available. Sorry, but I just can't share your
>enthusiasm in this matter. In my opinion, so far no drug has
>been proven to slow the course of AD. The only possible
>exception to this is acetyl-carnitine, as long as you are willing
>to overlook the fact that the studies showing dramatic effects
>have been done by Italian groups who are sponsored by the
>Italian drug company that makes acetyl-carnitine, while other
>groups tend to get negative results or report very little benefit.
Dr. Hatanpaa,
I agree that most of the studies of acetyl-carnitine have been funded
by Sigma-Tau and that certainly makes them somewhat suspect.  However,
there have been a large number of clinical studies published todate
(quite a few have been done outside of Italy) and the large majority
report significant positive effects.  You might want to read Bruce Ames'
overview of the research in his paper recently published in the Proceedings
of the National Academy of Sciences.  There have only been a very few
negative reports.  Until more negative results are published, it seems
reasonable to use Alcar as a speculative therapy.  I am aware of MDs
who are using it as such at a major local hospital.
You may also want to do a Medline search on NSAIDs and Nimodipine effects
on the progression of Alzheimers.  These certainly look promising at this
Lou Pagnucco (lpagnucco at delphi.com)

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