Nav: Home

Estrogen drug may not benefit women with Alzheimer's dementia

November 04, 2015

MINNEAPOLIS - An estrogen-like drug, raloxifene, has no demonstrated benefit on memory and thinking skills for women with dementia due to Alzheimer's disease, according to a study published in the November 4, 2015, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

"Drugs that interact with estrogen receptors have attracted a great deal of interest as a potential treatment for women with dementia due to Alzheimer's disease, but relatively small studies of estrogen have generally failed to confirm any benefit," said study author Victor Henderson, MD, MS, with Stanford University in Stanford, Calif., and a Fellow of the American Academy of Neurology. "Prior to this study, raloxifene had not been evaluated as an Alzheimer treatment."

For the study, 42 women with an average age of 76 with mild to moderate dementia due to Alzheimer's disease were separated into two groups and given raloxifene or a placebo pill for 12 months. The women were assessed on their memory and other mental functions at the start of the trial and then every three months. They were also evaluated on how well they could complete daily activities, and their family members or caregivers were asked about their caregiver burden and stress at the start, middle and end of the study.

Raloxifene is a type of drug known as a selective estrogen receptor modulator. It acts like estrogen in some parts of the body. In the uterus and breasts, raloxifene acts like an estrogen blocker. It is also used to prevent bone loss after menopause. An earlier study in healthy women suggested that raloxifene may lower the risk of cognitive impairment or dementia.

The results on the cognitive skills tests did not differ significantly between the placebo group and the group taking raloxifene. There were also no significant differences reported by family members and caregivers on the amount of caregiver burden or stress or in daily activities.

Henderson noted that the study was not designed to detect small effects from raloxifene in the range of that provided by approved Alzheimer's drugs such as donepezil or memantine.

"We found that the drug did not have any significant effect on patients after one year," Henderson said. "If there are cognitive effects in this population, these effects are likely to be no more than small. These results may be valuable if future trials of raloxifene are considered."
-end-
This study was supported by the National Institutes of Health. Eli Lilly provided the study drug and placebo.

To learn more about Alzheimer's disease, visit http://www.aan.com/patients.

The American Academy of Neurology, an association of more than 28,000 neurologists and neuroscience professionals, is dedicated to promoting the highest quality patient-centered neurologic care. A neurologist is a doctor with specialized training in diagnosing, treating and managing disorders of the brain and nervous system such as Alzheimer's disease, stroke, migraine, multiple sclerosis, brain injury, Parkinson's disease and epilepsy.

For more information about the American Academy of Neurology, visit http://www.aan.com or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube.

Media Contacts:


Rachel Seroka, rseroka@aan.com, (612) 928-6129

Michelle Uher, muher@aan.com, (612) 928-6120

American Academy of Neurology

Related Dementia Articles:

Flies the key to studying the causes of dementia
A research team from the University of Plymouth, University of Southampton and the Alexander Fleming Biomedical Sciences Research Center, Vari, Greece, have studied two structurally-similar proteins in the adult brain and have found that they play distinct roles in the development of dementia.
Stroke prevention may also reduce dementia
Ontario's stroke prevention strategy appears to have had an unexpected, beneficial side effect: a reduction also in the incidence of dementia among older seniors.
Dementia: The right to rehabilitation
Rehabilitation is important for people with dementia as it is for people with physical disabilities, according to a leading dementia expert.
One in 4 elderly Australian women have dementia
At least a quarter of Australian women over 70 will develop dementia according to University of Queensland researchers.
Rural dementia -- we need to talk
Research carried out by Plymouth University into the experience of dementia in farming and farming families, and its impact on their businesses and home lives, has identified four areas of concern which need to be addressed if dementia in the countryside is to be managed.
Women with dementia receive less medical attention
Women with dementia have fewer visits to the GP, receive less health monitoring and take more potentially harmful medication than men with dementia, new UCL research reveals.
Dementia on the downslide, especially among people with more education
In a hopeful sign for the health of the nation's brains, the percentage of American seniors with dementia is dropping, a new study finds.
New study suggests rethink of dementia causes
University of Adelaide researchers have developed a new theory for the causes of dementia and other neurodegenerative diseases, involving an out-of-control immune system.
Bleeding stroke associated with onset of dementia
Bleeding within the brain, or intracerebral hemorrhage, was associated with a high risk of developing dementia post stroke, according to research presented at the American Stroke Association's International Stroke Conference 2016.
Dementia: New insights into causes of loss of orientation
The University of Exeter Medical School led two studies, each of which moves us a step closer to understanding the onset of dementia, and potentially to paving the way for future therapies.

Related Dementia Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Anthropomorphic
Do animals grieve? Do they have language or consciousness? For a long time, scientists resisted the urge to look for human qualities in animals. This hour, TED speakers explore how that is changing. Guests include biological anthropologist Barbara King, dolphin researcher Denise Herzing, primatologist Frans de Waal, and ecologist Carl Safina.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#SB2 2019 Science Birthday Minisode: Mary Golda Ross
Our second annual Science Birthday is here, and this year we celebrate the wonderful Mary Golda Ross, born 9 August 1908. She died in 2008 at age 99, but left a lasting mark on the science of rocketry and space exploration as an early woman in engineering, and one of the first Native Americans in engineering. Join Rachelle and Bethany for this very special birthday minisode celebrating Mary and her achievements. Thanks to our Patreons who make this show possible! Read more about Mary G. Ross: Interview with Mary Ross on Lash Publications International, by Laurel Sheppard Meet Mary Golda...