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 Finnish research group discovers a new immune system regulator
23.02.2018 | University of Turku

nachricht Minimising risks of transplants
22.02.2018 | Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg

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: Attoseconds break into atomic interior

A newly developed laser technology has enabled physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (jointly run by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics) to generate attosecond bursts of high-energy photons of unprecedented intensity. This has made it possible to observe the interaction of multiple photons in a single such pulse with electrons in the inner orbital shell of an atom.

In order to observe the ultrafast electron motion in the inner shells of atoms with short light pulses, the pulses must not only be ultrashort, but very...

Im Focus: Good vibrations feel the force

A group of researchers led by Andrea Cavalleri at the Max Planck Institute for Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) in Hamburg has demonstrated a new method enabling precise measurements of the interatomic forces that hold crystalline solids together. The paper Probing the Interatomic Potential of Solids by Strong-Field Nonlinear Phononics, published online in Nature, explains how a terahertz-frequency laser pulse can drive very large deformations of the crystal.

By measuring the highly unusual atomic trajectories under extreme electromagnetic transients, the MPSD group could reconstruct how rigid the atomic bonds are...

Im Focus: Developing reliable quantum computers

International research team makes important step on the path to solving certification problems

Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Basque researchers turn light upside down

23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Finnish research group discovers a new immune system regulator

23.02.2018 | Health and Medicine

Attoseconds break into atomic interior

23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>