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Study: Alzheimer’s Symptoms May Improve with ADHD Medication

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July 11, 2022Alzheimer’s symptoms like slow cognition and apathy may improve in Alzheimer’s syndrome patients treated with ADHD medication, which has little effect on attention or episodic memory, according to a new study published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry.1The research, which comprised a meta-analysis of eight clinical trials involving 425 patients, found that ADHD medication had a significant positive effect on apathy, a common Alzheimer’s symptom. (The noradrenergic system influences motivation.)2Findings from 10 studies involving 1,300 patients revealed a small positive effect of noradrenergic drugs on overall cognition, as measured by the Mini-Mental State Exam or the Alzheimer’s Disease Assessment Scale.1 However, the study reports that noradrenergic drugs do not significantly affect attention or episodic memory in patients with Alzheimer’s.

In assessing the efficacy of noradrenergic drugs in improving cognitive and neuropsychiatric symptoms in Alzheimer’s patients, the research team led by Dr.

Michael David of the UK Dementia Research Institute identified 19 randomized, controlled trials conducted from 1980 to 2021.

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