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Researchers hail combination therapy for Alzheimer's

Researchers hail combination therapy for Alzheimer's
25th September 2008

New US research suggests that treatment with two different classes of drug can be beneficial for Alzheimer's patients.

Alzheimer's treatments could have greater benefits than is often thought by patients or their carers, who may become despondent due to an apparently continuing decline, according to scientists from Massachusetts General Hospital in Alzheimer Disease and Associated Disorders.

Following an analysis of the data they have obtained, the researchers predict that the longer patients receive combination therapy with memantine and cholinesterase inhibitors, the less the level their rate of decline would become.

They speculated that such treatment may even provide brain cells with protection from further damage - although this theory requires further investigation.

"What we can say now is that providers should help patients understand that the benefits of these drugs are long term and may not be apparent in the first months of treatment," commented Dr Alireza Atri, lead author of the study.

Meanwhile, Australian scientists are looking into how music may be used to assist couples where one partner has dementia.

The researchers from the University of Queensland are assessing how music may be able to improve levels of wellbeing in such relationships, by invoking shared memories associated with certain songs.

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