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Study Suggests Memantine Works No Better Than Placebo

April 12, 2011 -- A commonly prescribed Alzheimer's drug had no effect in treating patients with a mild form of the disease, U.S. researchers said on Monday, underscoring the need for new and better treatments for the most common form of dementia.

Sold under the brand Namenda by Forest Laboratories Inc and Germany's Merz Pharma, the drug had U.S. sales of about $1.2 billion last year.

For the study, researchers culled through published studies, presentations at medical meetings and other sources to find studies that looked at the effectiveness of the drug memantine, Namenda's generic form, in patients with mild Alzheimer's disease.

They found that memantine worked no better than a dummy pill at treating the disease.

Memantine is one of the few approved drugs to treat Alzheimer's disease, which affects 26 million people globally. Alzheimer's can stretch on for years, slowly robbing patients of their mind and memories. And there are currently no drugs that can keep the disease from progressing.

Read the full article on Reuters here.

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