Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Drug helps cognitive function in brain tumor patients after radiation

20.03.2006


A drug that is marketed to treat Alzheimer’s disease also improves cognitive function, mood and quality of life in brain tumor patients following radiation therapy, according to a research team at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center.



After the patients were treated for six months with donepezil (trade name: Aricept), there was a significant improvement in their symptoms, the researchers reported in the March 17 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

"Each year more than 15,000 Americans are diagnosed with a primary brain tumors, and as many as 200,000 with metastatic brain tumors, nearly all of whom receive radiation therapy," said Edward G. Shaw, M.D. "For survivors of brain tumor radiation, symptoms of short-term memory loss and mood changes similar to those seen in Alzheimer’s disease, as well as fatigue, frequently occur, leading to a poor quality of life."


Donepezil, part of a class of drugs called acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibitors, "has demonstrated efficacy in mild to severe Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia," said Stephen R. Rapp, Ph.D., professor of psychiatry and behavioral medicine and senior author on the paper. It is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for that purpose.

"The results of this initial study encourage continued investigation of donepezil and other AChE inhibitors," Rapp said.

The research team is planning a clinical trial in which treatment of brain tumor patients with donepezil will be compared to an inert placebo, and neither the doctor nor the patient will know which pill they received until the study is completed.

"To our knowledge, this is the first study of an AChE inhibitor or any other drug administered to long-term survivors of partial or whole brain radiation therapy in an attempt to reduce the symptoms associated with a brain tumor and its treatments," said Shaw, professor and chairman of the Department of Radiation Oncology and a co-author.

"The pretreatment assessment of thinking, memory, mood and energy level revealed symptoms that clearly affected quality of life," Shaw said.

The researchers decided to try donepezil after observing that radiation-induced brain injury resembles Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia not only in the clinical symptoms but also in what is seen with brain imaging, particularly with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and positron emission tomography (PET).

The team hypothesized that radiation therapy for brain tumors resulted in injury to neurons that in turn caused a deficiency of a brain chemical called acetylcholine. They thought use of an AChE inhibitor – such as donepezil – might increase the acetylcholine level in the brain, decrease cognitive symptoms and improve mood and quality of life. Their study indicated it did.

"Additional research is needed to further evaluate donepezil and other AChE inhibitors in this population." Rapp said.

The other members of the team were Robin Rosdhal, R.N., O.C.N., and Mike E. Robbins, Ph.D., both from radiation oncology, and Ralph B. D’Agostino Jr., Ph.D., James Lovato, M.S. and Michelle J. Naughton, Ph.D., all from public health sciences.

Robert Conn | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.wfubmc.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht World first: Massive thrombosis removed during early pregnancy
20.07.2017 | Universitätsspital Bern

nachricht Therapy of preterm birth in sight?
19.07.2017 | Universitätsspital Bern

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

Im Focus: On the way to a biological alternative

A bacterial enzyme enables reactions that open up alternatives to key industrial chemical processes

The research team of Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle at the University of Freiburg's Institute of Biochemistry has long been exploring the functioning of nitrogenase....

Im Focus: The 1 trillion tonne iceberg

Larsen C Ice Shelf rift finally breaks through

A one trillion tonne iceberg - one of the biggest ever recorded -- has calved away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica, after a rift in the ice,...

Im Focus: Laser-cooled ions contribute to better understanding of friction

Physics supports biology: Researchers from PTB have developed a model system to investigate friction phenomena with atomic precision

Friction: what you want from car brakes, otherwise rather a nuisance. In any case, it is useful to know as precisely as possible how friction phenomena arise –...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

The technology with a feel for feelings

12.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA looks to solar eclipse to help understand Earth's energy system

21.07.2017 | Earth Sciences

Stanford researchers develop a new type of soft, growing robot

21.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Vortex photons from electrons in circular motion

21.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>