is a drug used for
treatment of the symptoms associated with Alzheimer's
disease (AD). It was approved by the US Food
and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2001 and is currently
marketed in the US (under the trade name Reminyl) by Janssen
Pharmaceutica and Ortho-McNeil. Galantamine is extracted from
Galantamine works to increase the level
in the brain. Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter
which is important for learning and memory;
one feature of AD is a reduction in brain levels of acetylcholine.
Like the other currently-available AD drugs, tacrine
(trade name Cognex), donepezil
(trade name Aricept), and rivastigmine
(trade name Exelon), galantamine is a cholinesterase
inhibitor, meaning that it acts to inhibit the enzymes
which break down unused acetylcholine; the result is that
existing acetylcholine survives longer and is more effective.
Additionally, galantamine may work to stimulate the release
of new acetylcholine in the brain.
by Catherine E. Myers. Copyright © 2006 Memory Loss and the Brain