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Combination Drug May Ease the Agitation of Alzheimer's

NY Times 9/24/2015 - Researchers report that a combination drug already in use for treating certain neurological problems may be a better remedy for the agitation and aggression common in Alzheimer’s patients.

Dextromethorphan is a cough suppressant commonly found in over-the-counter cough medicines, and quinidine is a drug used to control heart rhythm disorders. In combination, they are used to treat certain neurological disorders involving involuntary movement of the facial muscles.

The scientists randomized 152 Alzheimer’s patients to a 10-week course of dextromethorphan-quinidine and 127 to placebo. Researchers then rated them using a well-validated scale that measures aggression and agitation. The study is in the Sept. 22 issue of JAMA.


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