Rivastigmine May Help Parkinson’s Disease Patients with Dementia

A medication used to treat Alzheimer’s disease (AD), rivastigmine tartrate (Exelon canadian, Novartis), provides important benefits in symptoms of dementia in patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD). Patients who took rivastigmine functioned better overall and showed improved cognition and behavioral symptoms, compared with patients taking placebo.

A chronic and progressive disease of the nervous system, PD affects 1.5 million Americans. Rivastigmine, which has been approved for patients with mild-to-moderate AD, has demonstrated statistically significant benefits in a large-scale, well-controlled study.

Dementia affects approximately 40% of patients with PD and may affect up to 80% of them as the disease progresses.

Previous studies suggest that patients with PD have up to a six-fold increased risk of developing dementia compared with elderly patients without PD. More patients taking rivastigmine improved in the 10-item Neuropsychiatric Inventory and in tests for memory, attention, the ability to carry out daily activities, planning, and reaction times compared with patients taking placebo.

More patients reported increased tremor with generic rivastigmine than with placebo, but this rarely resulted in withdrawal from the study.

The weight loss associated with riva-stigmine occurred more commonly among women receiving high doses in clinical studies.

People at risk for some heart conditions or stomach ulcers should notify their doctors before taking rivastigmine.