Leuprolide plus donepezil may stabilize memory loss in Alzheimer's disease

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According to a new study published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, researchers have found that leuprolide, a drug commonly used for androgen deprivation therapy for patients with prostate cancer, stabilized memory loss for a year in women with Alzheimer's disease.

For the study, researchers enrolled 109 women with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease. Some women were treated with high-dose leuprolide acetate and donepezil, an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor that treats symptoms of Alzheimer's disease.

Other patients received an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor plus low-dose leuprolide or placebo. Results showed that those treated with donepezil and high-dose leuprolide had nearly no decline in their ADAS-cog score, a memory test, while those treated with an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor plus low-dose leuprolide or placebo experienced declines after 1 year.

Previous studies have suggested the leuprolide has protective benefits for Alzheimer's disease. One study found that men treated with leuprolide for prostate cancer were 34-55% less likely to develop Alzheimer's disease compared with men who did not receive the injection.

The researchers suggest that this promising drug combination should be tested in patients with early and late stages of the disease, but because the company that initially conducted this research is now out of business, it is unclear whether this therapy will be further developed.

Brain mets
Leuprolide stabilized memory loss for a year in women with Alzheimer's disease.
Women with Alzheimer's disease showed stable cognition for a year when a drug that is more commonly used to treat advanced prostate cancer was added to their drug regimen, according to a new study from researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
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