In a total of ten studies involving 1,300 people, those who had used so-called noradrenergic drugs performed slightly but significantly better on Alzheimer’s tests. Results from eight studies with 425 patients also showed that apathy was significantly less common when taking these drugs. The study authors, who published their findings in the Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery & Psychiatry, see this as a good basis for conducting further clinical trials with noradrenergic drugs for the treatment of Alzheimer’s.
Noradrenergic drugs affect the effect of the messenger substance norepinephrine, also called norepinephrine. Commonly, these drugs are used for depression, hypertension, and ADHD. Released from a network of specialized neurons, norepinephrine is critical for processes such as attention, learning, memory, action, and suppression of inappropriate behavior. Disorders in this network appear early in Alzheimer’s disease and contribute to typical symptoms.
For this reason, the researchers evaluated studies from 1980 to 2021 in which noradrenergic drugs such as atomoxetine, methylphenidate and guanfacine were used. They found a total of 19 eligible studies involving 1,811 patients. Six of the studies were qualitatively rated as “good”, seven as “moderate” and six as “poor”.
What: DOI 10.1136 / jnnp-2022-329136